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Soviet Rock Legends Kino Reunite in Moscow

The original musicians perform with a digitalized Viktor Tsoi.

kino.band.official / Vkontakte

This past weekend in Moscow thousands of music fans cheered at a concert by Kino — a group that was disbanded 30 years ago after its leader, Viktor Tsoi, was killed in a car crash.

The almost 3-hour concert was performed by the original band members, additional musicians, and the voice of Viktor Tsoi, which was digitalized and brought up to today’s musical standards.

Kino was founded in 1982, led by Viktor Tsoi who wrote the music and lyrics, was the lead singer, and whose stage presence and persona made him the most popular rock musician of the Soviet period.

The group began by playing small gigs in any space they could find and recording their music on ancient equipment.

Over the next eight years, Kino began to play in newly opened rock clubs, on Soviet television and in the film “Assa,” where Tsoi sang “I Want Change” at a concert of screaming fans. The group performed in Eastern and then Western Europe, and even did a gig in New York. Capitol Records released a Kino album in the U.S. in 1989, and back home the group performed at huge Soviet festivals and put on a legendary performance at Luzhniki Stadium in 1990.

But in August of that year Tsoi was killed in a car accident when he was driving back from a fishing trip. The group had recorded another album before his death; “Black Album” was released in December of 1990 and the group disbanded.

In 2019 Tsoi’s son Alexander began to digitalize his father’s vocal tracks and the group got back together to incorporate live and digital music. The tour, planned for 2020, was postponed due to the coronavirus until this month.

The original group members — Yuri Kasparyan, Igor Tikhomirov and Alexander Titov — perform live on stage with photos, videos and sometimes digital images of Tsoi on screen behind them.

The tour will continue in St. Petersburg, Minsk and Nizhny Novgorod.

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