Boys Noize Monarch Theatre May 7, 2014
Wednesday night Boys Noize and L-Vis 1990 headlined at Monarch Theatre, bringing underground house and electro to a relentless crowd.
By 11 the third opener, Bijou was wrapping up his set. The local DJ known for playing deep house and Chicago style house was the perfect intro to the headliners. The low tempo nature of Bijou's style welcomed the growing crowd, and set the tone for a raw, bass-centric night.
A good DJ set is like a good lay. You don't want to come on too strong with banger after banger, exhausting the crowd 30 minutes into their night. It's all about the gradual build of excitement and the ebb of flow of giving them what they want and giving them time to breathe.
This idea works both on DJs' individual set level and on the larger scale of the whole night; the opening DJs should all slightly build on each other until the energy is handed off to the headliner: the climax.
Bijou set the scene; L-Vis 1990 was the foreplay.
After he mixed out of Bijou's last track, L-Vis 1990 came in and changed gears, opening with hard kicks that sent vibrations throughout the building. His music style is definitely more energetic than Bijou's, which isn't necessarily good or bad. L-Vis' 1990 doesn't quite fit into a specific breed of dance music producer. His set mixed deep house and electro styles with random hints of almost every other genre. He mixed low tempo, heavy bass tracks into 2 Live Crew's "Face Down" at one point. At almost 12:30 on the dot, Boys Noize crept onto the stage from behind the DJ booth with a posse of staff. He sported a black backwards hat, t shirt and jeans with red-high tops. His casual look matched his casual attitude, as bobbed his head to the music and looked around to the side stage and the crowd with a genuine smile.
He took his time, grooving to the music while he adjusted the equipment L-Vis 1990 was still playing on. Before he got on he looked to the side stage and smiled like: you ready for this?
Distorted, electronic vocals entered the sounds of the night,"5, 6, 7..." As Boys Noize transitioned into his music and took over.
The crowd was ready for it, waving sign's with the producer's smiley-face logo above as the headliner's set started.
Boys Noize started mellow (for Boys Noize) and quickly went into one of his more popular disco-house tracks "Starwin." From there he built a complex set, with technical layers, mind blowing bridges and stomping bass. His set sounded thought out, sounds and samples would reappear throughout the set, really doing a full circle with some of the mixes. Boys Noize is one of those producers who shows you the artistic capacity of dance music.
Listening to his tracks on YouTube or Soundcloud doesn't really give him justice. His music is meant to be heard on a loud system, and individual tracks don't show his talent for connecting and layering tracks together to create a packaged product.
Monarch was the perfect venue to host Boys Noize. It's simple, dark, small budget feel makes it feel like you're at an underground club. It's not trying to lure you in with fancy decorations and a model-looking staff, it's raw and real.
The small space mimics a festering blister at an event like this, with the bass and energy gathering and bubbling inside, trapped and waiting to pop. The contained bass created a muffled, distorted sound that enhanced the grittiness of the night.
The crowd was on point. It was a mix of ASU students fresh out of finals, girls with outfits straight from Nylon, and random old dudes, presumably rolling balls. It was an eclectic mix of people that all looked like lost puzzle pieces, but they all connected in that they were ready to have their ear drums annihilated. There was the exception of the high-strung douche and douchette scenesters who thought hanging on the side of the stage made them better than other people. But that happens everywhere. What can you do.
Last Night: J.Paul, Bijou, Sean Watson, Cyberpunk, Boys Noize and L-Vis 1990.
Personal Bias: I love Boys Noize, so I had a great time.
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Overheard: "Man, I'm so fucking high right now."
Audience: All walks of life.
Random Notebook Dump: The visuals at this show were like something out of a bad trip: twirling smiley faces, scary eyes and teeth, and kaleidoscoping shapes.