Digitalism @ El Rey Theatre, Tuesday April 1 2008
Synopsis: Digitalism turned out a great set, with a brief encore, showcasing hits from Idealism and new material as well. Having attended a lot of electronic/dj shows, I am used to watching a couple guys stand on stage, play around with their MacBookPro, take swigs of Hennessy, and occasionally adjust their hats. Jens Moelle and İsmail Tüfekçi put them to shame. They took over the whole stage, with real turntables and mics (did you know that the vocals on their tracks are not computer-generated but are their own voices? I did not). Foregoing the aloofness that is typical of their peers, they jumped around, danced, sang, and engaged the crowd through a heavy German accent.
Audience looked like: Mid-late twenties white dudes who want to dance. I expected some Cobrasnake fashions, but there was not a lot of outlandish attire or superfluous posing (judging from Sung’s photos, all those people were too hungover from the Justice show to make it out). There was a small but noticeable gay contingent, and a few girls who looked like they got lost on the way to a Playboy audition. Overall, similar to the El Rey MSTRKRFT audience, but more polite and with less drug paraphernalia.
Opening act: When we first walked in, I looked onstage and thought to myself “Not too often you see a female dj at a show like this. That’s rad.” I later figured out it was not a chick, but one guy from Guns N Bombs. His set was pretty underwhelming: one dude, one laptop, curtains drawn. Bass-heavy thump music I associate with after-hours gay clubs where randoms ask you for crystal meth. This is your hometown show and you can’t even get both members of the group on stage? Guns N Bombs, you disappoint me.
Suggestions for the El Rey: Please get your sound figured out. Add bathrooms for ladies. Never get rid of the creepy middle aged white guy who works the door. He’s part of what makes you special.
Musings on cash flow: Apparently, $14 is now standard for a large draft beer. My pre-game intensity will increase accordingly. Also, the parking garage on Cochran is now $15. I remember it being much cheaper, but I guess everyone is feeling the pain of the record-high grain prices. Next time, I walk.