Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Interlude: Bad Religion

I won't protest too much if you labeled me a glutton. To be fair, I purchased tickets for this week's shows before I knew how involved I'd be with CMJ, and it'd just be rude not to go, right? So, I made my way uptown and then a few avenues west to Terminal 5 for Justice, the new big venue on 56th Street. I can't say I'm very fond of the place, simply because bigger means less intimate, although that's hardly a factor in an event of the raving nature. The two balconies are impressive, and I spied some lucky people who had grabbed stools, but it wouldn't be my ideal vantage point. At least the entire place isn't seated, although there were times over the course of the night that I wished it was.

The Midnight Juggernauts

Melbourne, Australia's Midnight Juggernauts fit nicely with Justice despite their geographical distance. They play music equally indebted to house music and rock 'n roll, as evidenced by the bass-drums-synths setup. Daniel Stricker aka Thunderfist pounded the kit as Vincent and Andy Juggernaut made their way on-stage, and it was full speed ahead from there on. The band knew how to make the crowd dance, and it's rare that the audience is so pumped during an opener. Keyboardist Vincent's vocals had enough zip to fit in with the tempo, but perhaps their greatest success was when he switched instruments with Andy, who then used a vocoder distortion to great effect. As Vincent mentioned, it was their last show in the North American tour, but the band didn't show any signs of fatigue.

MP3: Midnight Juggernauts - Into The Galaxy
MySpace: Midnight Juggernauts
Official Site: Midnight Juggernauts


Frankly, I was disappointed. Being crammed into a deliriously active crowd was more uncomfortable than invigorating, and I couldn't help but wonder if hype is justified. Now, the experience has done nothing to shake my faith (ha) in the audio goodness that is "D.A.N.C.E." and (especially) "We Are Your Friends," but I'm having real misgivings about hearing them live. For one thing, the set wasn't at all based on the supreme hookiness of those two singles, but rather on the abrasive, somewhat guttural sound reminiscent of their debut, "Waters of Nazareth." It's a matter of taste, but I can't imagine the group having such wild success over the last few months had they just stuck to that formula.

While is more indicative of their live sound, I guess I just expected more. There just wasn't a whole lot of creativity, at least compared to the few other sets I've been to. "D.A.N.C.E." was cashed in surprisingly early, and again, it lacked a lot of punch when just the vocal was used. Still, it was better than the middle of their set, which just didn't do much for me. I caught bits of the chopped up vocal on "DVNO" and Uffie's mediocre rap on "The Party," but there was nothing particularly compelling there. I am pleased to report that "We Are Your Friends" was as awesome as all those YouTube clips suggest, and hearing the entire crowd yell it out was, dare I say, borderline religious. Mashing it with "Waters of Nazareth" was curious, but fair enough. The encore rehashed "The Party" with some percussion bits, and that was it. One song, amazing as it is, does not a good set make, I'm afraid.

MP3: Justice vs Simian - We Are Your Friends (Radio Slave & Spencer Parker Re-edit)
MP3: Justice - D.A.N.C.E. (Les Rythmes Digitales Remix)
MySpace: Justice


Anonymous said...

this set was intense. this IS justice. if anything, d.a.n.c.e. and never be alone are overplayed. the crowd made the night, and i get the feeling by your tone that justice isn't for you. leave it alone and move on, instead of posting a ridiculous review like this. nothing can top the monster tracks like phantom and waters of nazareth pumping louder than you can stand. epic.

deepspace said...

bro, i gotta agree with the guy above me.
justice just isnt for you.
i think DANCE isnt as indicative of justice as phantom or let there be light.

while yes the crowd was so insane it was hard at times to get into the music, it was still an experience.

Anonymous said...

waters of nazareth is the best justice song to ever grace my ears... and if they continue to keep up that chunky, distorted, raw, driving sound up... then i'm going to keep on supporting.

kudos to the two comments above mine.

Anonymous said...

the show was a superb combination of the crowd and the music. the people up front would start jumping, and like a wave, the whole crowd would be in the air. intense? yes. hot and sweaty? yes. unsatisfaying? absolutely not. one of the best shows i've been to all year. deal with it.

Christy T. said...

Wow...people are harsh. How about we settle for a polite "difference of opinion?" I think you guys have a valid point; I think Roland has a valid point. No need to slam him for posting his opinion. I'm glad you guys had a good time though, I missed it.

Anonymous said...

you are totally right with your opinion about justice and their livegigs. its boring and it´has become a simple "youth-hype". i think paying for a justice-dj-set would have been much better and more intereeting. in germany we say something like: " if you dont let other people watch into your cards you gotta hide something" i hope you understand that. so is justice - they just play tracks on cd and ableton and call it live.
i was a little disapointed too.




Catshoe said...

Interested to see this - we got to see Justice supporting CSS in Manchester and Birmingham (UK, not AL!) I have to say I agree with you. My friend Keith thought they were building up for some kind of cult / religion, which is not that far off. It's not that it was too loud - hey Caribou or 4Tet can outblast them anytime, it just-didn't-light-my-fire and it's OK to say so. CSS on the other lit me up a treat!

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