Sep 26, 2007

Block Rockin' Beats

Ahhh! In case I haven't alluded to it enough...the Chemical Brothers are my favorite dj's. I got into them my freshman year of college. Up until that point I listened to...dun dun dun...some pop crap that was on the radio, some rock...Sublime, 311, the Chili Peppers; John Mellencamp, and Harry Connick, Jr. Fucking weird, I know. day right at the end of the fall semester hardly anyone was around. Most people had finished their exams and left. I was about to do the same. I swung by my friend Chuck's room to say goodbye, and he was cleaning his bathroom with Star Guitar blasting from the speakers. I asked him what it was. He sent it to me over our speedy 3rd floor file sharing network. When we got back from the break he burned me a copy of Come With Us. My ex-boyfriend Jay got me tickets to see them at Hammerstein in April for Valentine's Day...and it blew my mind. That summer I started listening to more of their old stuff, then the Chems came back in the fall for CMJ...the Audio Bullys, Erlend Oye, Simian Mobile Disco (when it was still the 5 of them), and Cassius were all on the bill with them...and that basically opened the dance music floodgates for me.

So given the history of how I got into the Chemicals I was psyched to be going to the show with Chuck, Greg, and Chuck's Uncle John like old times. There were also a bunch of people who had never seen the Chems before (H-dizzle from work, his girlfriend, Greg's brother, his friend Brian who bought my extra ticket, and a few other people). I swung home after work to drop off my stuff and eat something, then got to Chuck's at 7. We drove over to Hammerstein with Jon about 20 minutes later, met up in line with Brian, got my dollazzz!, then went in. Got a spot a little less than halfway back, toward the right. The Rub were dj-ing...I had seen Ayres dj solo and he was really good, but all together the Rub just weren't doing it for me. They played some good tracks...the Justice remix of Never Be Alone, Mylo's Drop the Pressure, Switch and Solidgroove's This Is Sick (which I never heard on a big system so that was kind of dope)...but to be fair I was very distracted and excited about the Chemical Brothers and the Rub couldn't lure me in. Anyway...after a bit everyone else we were meeting up with started to trickle in and before we knew it, it was 9:30.

The Rub had just cleared offstage when the background droning noise of No Path to Follow started faintly in the background. Knowing the Brothers were about to hit the stage had everyone losing their shit. Finally they came out, the tension broke with Galvanize. It's probably one of my least favorite studio releases from the Chems, but they left me with a new found appreciation after hearing it at their show. That's one of the things I love about seeing the Chemical Brothers live, they have you loving songs you were never really that fond of, that you'd never thought you'd like.

In total the show was 2 hours which included a 30 minute encore. I honestly can't give you a play by play of what happened even though I remember so much of it. I hadn't seen the Brothers in 2 years and in that time I've been exposed to so much new music, so many great bands and dj's coming through New York City. And I've had a great time doing that. There have been nights where I thought I was going to drop from dancing so much. But. For me, nothing compares to the Chemical Brothers. There's just a very specific feeling I get at their shows that has yet to be repeated with any other dj's or bands. For those two hours I was a different level of happy. I was just getting down and going crazy like I hadn't in the past 2 years. Every song they played made me happier than the one before it, and by the end I fully remembered that this was how I felt every time I saw them prior (this was my 6th time - 4 live shows, 2 dj sets).

If I had to go into specifics, highlights for me were:

Do It Again (again not one of my favorite tracks at first, but it had been growing on me after hearing Busy P drop it hard in a dj set...done live by the Chems it killed, the visuals were great too - blue and red silhouettes of two guys dancing)

It was good to hear them drop the classics like Block Rockin Beats and Hey Boy, Hey Girl that always make the crowd lose it, myself included.

During Temptation/Star Guitar I freaked the fuck out as Star Guitar is my favorite Chemical Brothers song. I freak out whenever they play it live.

Surface to Air was beautiful. It's a beautiful song that subtly builds to a bang. I really loved the live version. The visuals were perfect...again silhouettes of people, this time girls, floating through the air, and also butterflies all in shades of blue.

Ending the show with Chemical Beats was really great because it got me in the mood for old school Chems stuff. I was already in the mood for it already. I have been listening to their early stuff now more than ever and was a bit bummed that I probably wouldn't hear much of it at this show. But the encore was the icing on the cake - Leave Home?! Sunshine Underground?!!? And Das Spiegel (favorite track off of We Are the Night) thrown in for good measure. I couldn't have asked for a better show or a better ending.

Set list thanks to sneakerbeater from the Chemical Brothers forum:

No Path To Follow
Burst Generator
Do it Again
Get Yourself High
Hey Boy, Hey Girl
All Rights Reversed
Krafty Numbers
Out Of Control
Dont Fight Control
Temptation / Star Guitar
Surface To Air
Under The Infuence
We Are The Night
Golden Path
Acid Children
Chemical Beats

Leave Home
Block Rockin Beats
Das Spiegel
The Sunshine Underground

There's a ton of stuff from this show floating around the internets. Great footage on youtube. The first one that comes up that's 20 minutes of footage condensed into 10 is good if you want an overview. This guy recorded and uploaded the whole show broken down into a bunch of parts on youtube , but there's a link here in part 1 to download a high quality version of the full show.

Also, has audio of the entire show. The volume's a bit low, but it does the trick.

Photos from the McCarren Pool show and more photos from the McCarren show. I found these a while after posting my review of the Hammerstein show, and realized I never posted a review of the McCarren show - in short, it was not as good as Hammerstein, but due to a variety of extraneous factors - crowd, venue, volume, timing, etc., not the Chems' themselves. A lot of those photos are very good though so I wanted to put the links somewhere so I would have them and also to share them.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP