[Concerts] (05.16.09, 11:12 am)

Thursday night, Audrey and I went to brave the night and go to another concert. This wasn’t really a concert, though, so much as a set. Most recent events we have gone to have had bands on stage, complete with real instruments and several people playing them. I have missed the days where we would go to clubs with an honest to goodness DJ, hovering over a mountain of electronic equipment, doing inscrutable things that cause lovely music to come out. This was a nice change of pace, and was a flashback to other experiences sorely missed. I do so love electronic music.

The tickets said that the show started at 8:00, so we get an early dinner and head over to Masquerade. This is the first time that we’ve been over there. I had passed this venue many times driving down North avenue, but never been to an event there. I had asked about parking on the phone, not realizing that the massive empty lot next to the building is all parking. And it was mostly full. There was a line for admittance that stretched halfway around the block. This was very odd, as Dieselboy is not really what one would consider… well, the sort of artist to draw in such a massive crowd. The line had a lot of goth and metal types, which we discover later were headed to a different show, as the venue has several levels: “Heaven,” “Hell,” and “Purgatory.” Our show was situated in Hell, the other group was a death metal band playing in Heaven. Awesome.

We find out once we get in there that the show actually did not start at 8 as advertised, though, but at 9:30. Not so awesome. Dieselboy started at 10:30, and then another DJ would come on at 12:30. Both Audrey and I spent the time contemplating our inevitable exhaustion for the next day, and talked about work.

The first set that came on was Two Fresh, which was incredible. This group consisted of two DJs, who I would later learn were twin brothers, who moved in uncanny synchrony, and a live drummer. They used a very interesting variety of samples, and did a sort of genre blurring that was very cool. The samples came from all over the place, there were a number of clearly R&B influenced clips, as well as some more jazzy ones, but these came alongside powerful beats and other ambient and rhythmic tones. Samples were often juxtaposed with background music that contrasted but did not clash. The live drummer contributed this very sharp and crisp sound to the percussion, which gave the set a sort of liveness that is hard to get when most drums are played with a drum machine.

Dieselboy came on afterwards and launched right away into the grinding, machinic, dissonant noises that he is well known for. This was immanently enjoyable, but it was at this point where the crowd began getting really obnoxious. Actually, that’s not entirely true, they were pretty obnoxious throughout Two Fresh, but I was too into the music to really pay attention. Dieselboy is interesting stuff, it is hard to listen to, but, like any acquired taste, rewards the palette with experience and paying attention. It was the paying attention that was especially difficult. Maybe now that I’ve had some distance from the club scene that I have lost my tolerance for thick crowds and having others around me constantly moving around. I’ve never been on Japanese public transportation, but that is the mental image that comes to mind. The set was very cool overall, it had one moment that was absolutely great, but I don’t remember what it was at all.

After Dieselboy went off, Audrey and I were thoroughly exhausted. It was after midnight and she would have work early in the morning. The last DJ to come up would be Pretty Lights, who we sadly missed. I feel bad for not having stayed, but don’t really regret it. I looked the group up after we got home and suddenly realized that I love this sort of music. Pretty Lights is classified as downtempo, a magnificent genre that is extremely listenable, consistently interesting, and very good as background music. I frequently listen to Chromanova while I work. So, it’s better, I think, to listen to while in a somewhat more relaxed environment than the writhing club. Pretty Lights has three CDs for free download on their website, it’s good stuff.

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