I only went to get Dirty.
The headliner, Excision? With all his lasers and Mach-14, venue-splitting bass (you owe me a beer, man. My pint literally danced itself off a table when I left it alone for a second) and glass-crunching dubstep? Not my thing, sorry, everyone under 23.
I’m from the school of old-skool… Roni Size drum n’ bass and electro with huge builds and drops and organic ALL THE FEELS..not the sound of, as my friend Michelle and everyone else calls it, “robots fucking.”
This is the fourth time I’ve seen the Parisien four-piece, including in Belgium at the festival Pukkelpop, where they melted my gourd. (Read about that, here.) I am an avowed disciple. Their latest album Irreverence might be more glitchy dubstep than I’d like, but LIVE? They’re visceral, fun, high-energy with a sound that fills big spaces and encourages you to lose your shit. They’re four bodies moving in synch, flipping buttons, hitting Kaoss pads, and mixing and dancing to the sound of their own awesome. They communicate well on stage, and with the crowd. They’re an amazing show for, you know, “a bunch of DJs.”
But yeah, that four bodies thing. The first thing you notice when they come on stage is that Charly, Thomas, Pitchin and Pho are now just Charly and Pitchin. No Pho, and turns out Thomas just left the band. Not four bodies. But two. Working harder than most live bands I’ve seen in ages.
Charly’s hoarse (get it?) from screaming the night before – a late one in Seattle ensured that – but he still blows out his vocal chords further to address the crowd. And when he’s driving at the decks, pulling tracks from Irreverence – even throwing in a little snip of White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” – Pitchin’s up front, egging on the ravers. And thusly, they went insane.
Nevermind the fact that in Vancouver, you can get kids to dance to anything (even dreadful suburban handbag house), but the room was detonating. The openers for Excision were…erm…actually wiping the floor with him. Spraying water over the crowd, slapping hands, and dancing in perfect synch like their lives depended on it behind the decks, the new streamlined Dirtyphonics are still a thrill.
So I came to get dirty, and I did. Pitchin ran up with a stamp pad and a stamp and crawled the front row, marking our limbs. “I AM DIRTY” my arm now says, and that’s correct. Can’t scrub the fucking thing off. But why would I? \m/
All photos by and with thanks to Syx Langemann. Learn more at Blackframestudios.ca
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