In a venue like Johnny Brenda’s, it’s easy to feel an intimacy with the performers despite their enormity. This was entirely the case last Thursday, April 9th, when Shlohmo, Purple and Nick Melons took the stage upstairs at the venue.
The turnout was light for opener Nick Melons, but that didn’t stop him from playing an entrancing, dancy set with deep bellowing synths and fun melodic lines controlled at his fingertips. Bathed in red light, the artist displayed some of his infectious tracks and put on a solid performance that amped up attendees for the performances to follow.
Following Nick Melons was Purple, the eccentric electronic producer that continues to put out tight tracks like “Extinction” and “Feel Alone”. The producer stood front in center behind his booth and quickly showed the crowd he meant business by crooning into a microphone live to be laid over his heavy synthesizers. The producer was appropriately lit with purple stage lights and donned a black cap, keeping up his dark, brooding demeanor. The set was tight, with the electric music enticing audience members closer to the stage, leaving the room packed for headliner Shlohmo.
Producer Shlohmo gave us all a run for our money, strolling onstage with two fellow musicians in tow. Those familiar with the WEDIDIT collective might have recognized Djavan Santos, otherwise known as D33J, who held down the keyboard and guitar while New York gun percussionist Bill DeLelles laid out impressive work on a kit decked out with electronic drum pads. Shlohmo stood front in center behind a table and the trio took the audience on a trippy soundscape journey with bright LED lights outlining the crew. Shlohmo’s recent 2015 release, Dark Red, was heavily influenced by metal which was made very clear with DeLelles’ tight, machine gun drumming. The set got even more interesting when both D33J and Shlohmo strapped on guitars to play the electronic lines in a number of tracks off of Dark Red. The crowd danced along to the hypnotic womping and dreamy guitar-synths and even though drummer DeLelles accidentally flung one of his sticks without a backup, a lucky fan was quick to snag it and return it to it’s proper owner (which may or may not have been yours truly…). After Shlohmo waved farewell and the crew slinked off stage, it was clear the show-goers weren’t quick to leave, aching for more of that dark electronic tunage.
The show was a decent reminder that electronic music is just that- music. With the artists donning instruments and playing live sets, it was entirely evident that there is theory behind each of their creations that pushes the boundaries of electronic music and all that it can communicate. With all of the naysayers out there whining that electronic music “doesn’t count”- well, they can take that up with Shlohmo, or the WEDIDIT collective…or me for that matter.