Decibel Decibel in the Park
posted by September 28 at 13:24 PMon
Yesterday’s free Decibel in the Park at Volunteer Park was ideal. It was sunny and warm, with a big crowd spread over the lawn and in front of the band-shell, from goofy looking ravers to park regulars. Jacob London kicked off with samples of an audience cheering at what sounded like Bobcat Goldthwait grunting and growling and whining and stuttering. Good as Jacob London’s productions are, their sense of humor is perhaps their strongest suit. They warped the vocal tics to a rhythm, dropped a beat under them, and got rolling into some bumpy techno. Maybe a half hour into their set, they blew a fuse or something and lost all sound; they did a little Ashley Simpson jig while waiting for it to come back on. After a few minutes, the sound came back, and someone named Sonic MC came on to reheat the crowd while Jacob London powered back up; he said “fuck” and then apologized because of all the “tots” that were around (there were a good amount of kids and families there). Starting over from dead air, Jacob London switched gears to slower tempo, hip-hop and dancehall inflected tracks, with an MC on some tracks and a clipped Modeselektor sample on another. They worked their way back up into some housier territory for the final part of the set. One wonders if the set was going to be so ranging even before the power out; it worked well for the situation.
Truckasauras kicked off with a new song, full of Korg MS 20 bass burps and digital-sounding keys, followed by a few new-ish songs, all of which sound really promising for another record. Tyler Swan wore a Legend of Zelda NES cartridge around his neck as a medallion; maybe some nerdcore dude somewhere has already done this, but I’d never seen it before and it was kind of a perfect look for the Truck—a little bit hip hop flash, a little bit (8 bits) nerd. Adam Swan rocked a big Pepsi cup instead of the usual bottle of whiskey. The other Swan brother stalked the stage in a red, white, and blue top hat, looking like he might try to sell you a used mattress, attempting to get the attentive but stationary crowd’s hands up. The Truck also lost sound for a minute, but they were able to recover quicker, gear still dialed in, right on the same beat as where they left off. They played the usual older songs, smoothly transitioning from one song to another where they usually pause between songs, the bass booming rich and deep over the lawn.
The Truck may not have elicited much physical reaction from the crowd, but headliners Glitch Mob sure as hell did, the whole crowd suddenly filling the “pit” as soon as the band took the stage and dancing enthusiastically for their whole set. Today, Glitch Mob was two guys behind a laptop and mixer, one of them an affable, confident MC on the mic. Their set started with a deep, muddled voice intoning about “next level shit,” “west coast,” and “the future” before a rap-rock big beat dropped followed by layers of crunchy, distorted synths. Soon a vocal loop—the MC?—was repeating,”One love make the world go ‘round,” then “the game is not over” (sadly not a tease for some T. Raumschmiere)—it was like they were nailing every lyrical/sloganeering cliche possible. Brandon Ivers observed that they sound like the music that might play while Xzibit yelled at you about how he installed a playstation in your car. They played a mix of “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne. It was all like Ed Banger for dummies, which I think is saying a lot, the kind of techno you’d expect Zach de la Rocha to drop a “fiery” politcal verse over, perhaps. Kids—literal little kids—were bouncing and flailing around stage alongside candy ravers in fishnets and platform boots. B. Shorty was there with a little dog. All in all, it was about as next level and futuristic as the Space Needle. The crowd sure dug it, though.