Chemical Brothers – at the Roxy with Death In Vegas – Review, live

Chemical Brothers

at the Roxy with Death In Vegas
by Malcolm E

It amazes me sometimes that people don’t give enough credit to 3, 2, 1 Contact as an influence on their formative years.

Umm… Sorry about that. What I meant to say was, the idiocy of concert promoters sometimes stuns me into incoherence. In what was possibly a move to see which of the breakbeat explosions has a bigger draw, some fool decided to pit The Chemical Brothers against The Crystal Method, who were playing across town (in a side note, Morphine was also playing somewhere in Boston that night, which seemed to make Wednesday the “night of the drug-referencing bands”). As a result, they split the crowd and probably had less draw for both. Kinda reminds me of when they put the Big Top Festival the day before the Electric Highway tour. Maybe I’m getting too old for this, but I can’t handle two raves in a row.

Anyway, the other thing that is funny, and not in a ‘ha ha’ way, is why does a band that has become internationally famous for breakbeats and “Loops of Fury” (the tune they started their set with) find it necessary to revert to the metronomic bass drum sound that drove so many away from electronica in the first place? After cycling through their better known tunes (“Block Rockin’ Beats,” “Electrobank” [by the way, check out the remix EP of that cut], etc.), they brought in the boom boom beat and started free mixing. It was cool, but I wasn’t hopped up on goofballs that night, so it wasn’t all that interesting. What was interesting was the opening band, Death In Vegas.

Using both a guitarist and a bassist along with the mad loopers, Death In Vegas played a mellow set, focusing on bass and a noticeable reggae influence, achieving a state of dub and groove, swaying the crowd as the visuals enraptured. I still don’t understand why people look towards the stage just to see some dimly lit knob-twiddlers. Habit, I guess. Me? I concentrated on the sexy cigar peddler, the lager in front of me, and the music that swept the room. In terms of aesthetic creation, Death In Vegas wins.