By Gote McDonald
I decided to cover the show behind El Rey last Friday, so let's get into it:
Red Panda opened up with his funky spaceship synthesizer grooves. He held his own and set the tone for the still-gathering crowd. Focused and solid with his red MacBook and keyboard, the first set of the night was extremely solid from start to finish. "This is the first of many" he said. Whether he was talking about his own performances, performances for the night, for the summer, or songs left in his set, I was with it.
Next they traded Red Panda's higher bpm laser sounds for Pocket Elephant's smooth R&B and Pop sampling. Vocals from Ariana Grande and Tyler The Creator (Flower Boy) could be heard in his slowed-down and romantic EDM take.
The crowd built as the stage set for the first band of the night: Slums Of Harvard. The crowd was on fire for this set. These guys are clearly very effective at mobilizing their fans - I think their stage presence shows you why. Unafraid of flailing around, I was pretty surprised nobody attempted to crowdsurf. They reeked of sunshine, very reminiscent of Sublime with just a little bit more edge.
Up next was Burn The Disco, a very popular DJ downtown. Starting with a good cool down from the energy of the last set, he slowly ramped up into a faster paced sound that was really effective at getting the now sizable crowd moving once again. Since it was getting darker, the light-up rave toys came out of their holsters.
Munirah was next, but first her band jammed, and they killed it. Then out of nowhere she brought on Geoffrodamus for a surprise freestyle. A few minutes later she took the stage to an adoring crowd. Between her soothing, soulful singing and highly skilled instrumentalists, this was an extremely good set.
Last but not least was Decon the singin' DJ. "Let me introduce myself my name is Decon and I wanna get F****** lit with y'all." And, boy, did they get lit. My favorite part was when he played the Jellyfish house beat from SpongeBob.
They set up this stage the day of and it made for an incredible new venue. The lighting and sound were terrific, big Somos vibes. The new mural was an insanely cool backdrop and any artist (and I mean any) would be lucky to perform here. Between this talented lineup and providing primetime space for artists and vendors, everything was impeccably smooth. I hope to see many more shows, big and small, here in the back of El Rey Theater.
(the fact it looks like the guitar monster is performing blew my freakin' mind)
photo credit: @shirtshooter