With over half of the concert series in the books, on Thursday, August 28st, the Santa Monica Pier hosts the East Los Angeles, Afrobeat band Mexico 68 and the legendary Lee Scratch Perry. Continue reading →
The surprise set of my Sunday at Coachella was Rudimental; an electronic music, quartet based out of Hackney, London. When I was doing research on them before the festival, I discovered that their first studio album, Home, had reached number one, and was certified platinum, in the U.K., and after watching a few of their live video clips online, I decided to make them a band I wanted to check out at Coachella. I was not disappointed.
Their set was AMAZING! Right from the start, their MC and hype-man, DJ Locksmith, whipped the crowd into a frenzy with his boundless energy, running back and forth across the stage, cajoling the late-afternoon crowd to join him and the band in their fervor. Though internet entries describe the band a a group of producer/DJs, they were backed by a full band and a full set of vocalists; each holding their own performing like their life depended on it.
Their infectious sound, which I would describe as a mix of R&B, dubstep, house and drum & bass, was perhaps the most exhilarating, live (i.e. with a full band), party-music I have heard since … honestly, I don’t even remember. Though I had to leave their set slightly early because I had to catch an act across the festival grounds (thus missing the their Fugees cover of “Ready or Not” and the surprise appearance of John Newman to perform their hit “Feel The Love”) I can honestly say that I was definitely impressed with their live performance, and would no doubt purchase tickets whenever they are performing in Los Angeles in the future.
To check out pictures of other bands I was able to catch at the festival, CLICK HERE.
Earlier in the day I had watched Tom Krell p/k/a How To Dress Well perform, and having done some research before the festival about different projects he had worked on, I found a video on youtube of a track How To Dress Well performed on produced by Henry Laufer p/k/a Shlohmo called “Don’t Say No”.
Intrigued by the sound and the fact that he was apparently working with Tom Krell, I decided to buy his latest LP “Bad Vibes” and after a couple spins on my record player, I decided that I’d put him on the list of acts I wanted to check out at the Festival. I’m not a big fan of DJ sets- I’m more of a live band kinda guy- but having enjoyed Flying Lotus in the past year at the Hollywood Bowl, I decided to swing by the tent where he was performing to check out a bit of his set.
As the “house lights” dimmed, and the smoke machines started pumping out a thick mist over the stage, Shlohmo came up to his DJ console and started his set. His live set was a little different than I had expected. “Don’t Say No” and “Bad Vibes” are very moody records, extremely ambient in there overall approach . The live set still carried the eerie mysticism of the music that I had purchased and watched before the festival, but during the fifteen minutes that I watched, it didn’t feel as lo-fi as maybe I had wanted. Missing was the interstitial feedback and ambient hisses that gave “Bad Vibes” its unique sound. The live show was almost too “clean.”
Don’t get me wrong. The music was good … the filled tent of bobbing heads was proof of that, and I love “Bad Vibes” (which sounds amazing on vinyl) …. but like I said, I’m more of a live band kind of guy.
Below are Instagram clips of some of the songs from Mexico68’s set at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the Twilight Concert Series. Instagram’s embed settings are, unfortunately, too large for WordPress, but hopefully, you’ll still be able to click through to watch the video clips. Enjoy.