Soulwax @ the Fillmore @ Irving Plaza - August 6, 2008 (CRED)
Sorry for the delay on this review!
Because of the amount that I go out, I don't get as excited as I used to about shows that are coming up. With the number of good events happening, one after the other, there's really not much time for a lead up - there are no pre-show countdowns anymore. I get really excited months ahead of time when I first find out an act is coming through New York and the next thing I know the show has come and gone. However, with Soulwax, anytime I heard a remix of theirs in the past month I found myself getting excited for the show. When it was finally August it only got worse, and the day of the show I was climbing the walls with anticipation.
Whereas there were a few instances this year in which other acts I was similarly excited about disappointed, Soulwax did no such thing. They were the complete opposite. Not only did they fulfill every expectation I had of them based on my 2-night Soulwax bender last spring, they crushed them. When I saw them last April, Soulwax was essentially playing their Nite Versions album live, straight through, which was awesome in and of itself. This time around they mixed up some great tracks from Nite Versions along with some of their always awesome remixes, which as impossible as it seems, only got better when performed live. From the second the brothers Dewaele took the stage along with Stefaan Van Leuven and Steve Slingeneyer it was a sheer eruption of live guitar, synths, bass, and menacing drums which had the crowd continually losing it for the entire hour+ Soulwax was on stage. Soulwax's live show is great because they take their excellent standalone tracks and remixes, far from being in need of resuscitation, and deliver them with a fury that seems as though their lives depend on it. This was hands down, no contest, the best electronic show I have been to this year. Not one of the best (which I've said about a few acts already) the best.
True to last year's form I've been having trouble letting such an amazing evening go, resulting in watching tons of live Soulwax footage on youtube. Here's some from last Wednesday night that really captures the live Soulwax experience (and gives you some idea of what they played - nobody stopped dancing long enough for a setlist):
Gundamfrenzied was right up against the stage which is a great way to experience Soulwax. Just to warn you - clip #2 gets very shaky almost immediately, but really makes you feel like you're there and gets a good shot of the crowd. Clip #3 - Get Innocuous! Clip #4 - great footage of the segue from Miserable Girl into Another Excuse.
I'm surprised I have yet to run into divinejudge1 at a show - we are at all the same ones and I always end up watching his videos afterward on youtube. Here are 10 great ones he took from the upper level:
These are the last two I promise - some great live versions of Soulwax's great remixes (in the thick of things on the main floor):
Phantom Part II
You can find more footage like that in Soulwax's documentary, Part of the Weekend Never Dies, which chronicles the band's tour over the course of 120 shows as well as interviews with fellow musicians, and footage from the road. It's been screening in Europe and at all the shows on this tour (I unfortunately missed it at Irving). It comes out on DVD in the US on September 9th. And I know I've already posted them, but I love the trailers:
Radio Soulwax - Part of the Weekend never Dies - Are You Filming
A little bird told me they were coming back in the Spring, but it actually looks like it'll be sooner than that. More info in a post to follow immediately!