“Ho-lee. CRAP. This. Is. Going. To. Be. Mental” is precisely what we said (complete with the full-stops) when we arrived at the Commodore Ballroom on Feb 20, for UK/Aussie drum n’bassterds Pendulum.
The crowd – average age: legal to drink plus about 16 hours. In fact, nearly foetal – were frothing, feral. Glowsticks, costumes, ridiculous Ed Hardy-wear, bandanas, baseball caps, highheels, belts for skirts, cyber-dreds, trainers, the works. They were chanting. PEN-DU-LUM! PEN-DU-LUM! And dancing as if that 6th Smirnoff Ice really hit the spot. The back of the sold out, big room was dancing. The bartenders were dancing. The balcony was dancing. Tables had been moved away to make room for more dancing. Every fucking kid was dancing.
In other words, it was a perfect, messy, happy storm.
Pendulum bemuse me, as much as they entertain. As a DJ act – just Paul Harding and Ben “MC Verse” Mount – they’re hardcore fun (how I prefer them). As a full five-piece, they’ve figured out a commercial mashup of mainstream drum and bass, heavy rock and vocodery action that drives said aforementioned kids wylde.
Of course, Pendulum also serve up just enough cheddar to grate the cheese of D n’ B purists – hey! I saw Roni Size back in March of ‘98 wah wah wah, no really, I did! etc. Verse is a Sarf or East London wideboy, skull cap on, and manic smiles. He bounds and runs like he’s been surfing the rails *cough* and throws out enough “WHAT’S UP? LEMME HEAR IT VANCOOOOOOVER! I CAHHHHN’T HEAR YOU! ARE WE GONNA RAISE THE ROOF?” that we seriously considered starting a drinking game. But I still dig him. Guitarist Peredur Ap Gwynedd had a fan on him – the electrical kind – so he looked all blond-hair blowy and suspiciously like an extra from a Kenny G video. Gareth McGrillen was in a sort of molded-baseball cap, black-leatherette gear and came complete with awesome rock poses. Rob Swire, who sung a fair chunk of the setlist, impressed with his redonkulous MIDI guitar, minus the headstock and tuning pegs. There were side lights, front lights, a raised drum kit, and bass made everything that wasn’t bolted down shake. Plus there was a PENDULUM backdrop! THIS WAS BIG!
So, hey, Pendulum, I’ll give you credit. Everywhere they go, the kids want to rock. And to a mental mutation of drum and bass and mainstream rock? Alright. As you were. But we can’t believe you didn’t play “Hold Your Colour.” Grumble grumble. \m/
PENDULUM SET LIST FOR VANCOUVER:
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