Echostage was about one-third filled when Chrome Sparks took the stage, but the Young Trio- clad in all white- did not mind one bit. Jeremy Malvin, founder and front man of the group, started the set out with a bit of an electronic groove session, warming the crowd up with soft, dreamy motifs and a quiet intensity, before moving into playing songs from their newest album, Goddess. Each song seemed to flow into the other, giving the entire set a fluid and flowing motion that was dynamic and cohesive. Listening to Chrome Sparks’ newest album, or even their first album, one would expect a lone DJ behind the glow of the screen of their laptop. What Chrome Sparks had on set, however, was an elaborate array of keyboards, midi boards, microphones, electronic xylophones, and- perhaps the most impressive instrument of the night: a full drum set. So when I say this was a live performance, it was alive and kicking. Beautifully.
After a very brief break between sets, The M Machine, a duo I actually had not heard of before, came on with a bang. They stood on a very, very tall stand, with an LED screen infront of it, placing the emphasis on watching their symbolic M in swirling graphics displayed on the screen, hand in hand with the music. The duo seemed to find a great balance between the classic EDM performance, and an indie-rock feel, dipping into melodic breaks between bass heavy beats. A fun fact about the performance: many people in the front of the crowd thought that they were only wearing boxers, but later it was discovered that they were just very tight beige pants. After (not quite literally) rocking their pants off, the duo came down and greeted the crowd with high fives and handshakes.
Away with the tall DJ stand, and on with the single largest stand (if you could call it that) I have ever seen at a concert. It took the stage crew only a few minutes to move the gargantuan thing in place, still shrouded in black. The venue was now full with people and anticipation, the air buzzing with excitement. This was the band’s very last stop on the very long tour, and to put it lightly, the crowd wanted them bad. Chants of “Glitch” and “ Love, Death, Immortality” erupted multiple times, obviously ready for the Glitch Mob experience And then, it began. The power was so palpable, so real in the music, as edIT (Edward Ma) thundered on the drums behind them that looked like airplane engines, while Ooah (Josh Mayer) and Boreta (Justin Boreta) furiously worked the midi interfaces manually.
The entire act is set up to be seen by the audience, as the trio works in harmony to create their epic and unique sound, like any instrumental band. These guys literally have changed what it means to perform as an electronic music artist. When I made note of this in my interview with them, they responded “we’re not trying to be cooler than anyone else, we’re just doing our thing. Hey, if it inspires people, awesome, if it doesn’t, that’s fine too. Its all good really.” Which makes what they are doing all the more original and unique. The sound that came from that stage seemed to energize the crowd in a way that I have never seen before. It felt that their raw power was dancing effortlessly from their fingertips. “Cant Kill Us” amped the energy level of the crowd up twofold, and after coming back onto the set after finishing, they performed two of their most iconic songs, “Fortune Days” from Drink the Sea, and “We Can Make The World Stop” from their EP of the same title.
Lets just say they ended with a bang. After finishing what felt like their magnum opus of the set, they came out and greeted the crowd signing autographs, giving drumsticks away, a bittersweet end to their now 8 month tour. In an interview with the band, when I asked which crowd so far has been their favorite, Ed humbly noted that “everybody that has come out to the shows that has helped make The Glitch Mob experience, we’re extremely grateful for. Doesn’t matter if you were at the show in France with 200 people on a boat, or in Quebec with 80,000, we love and appreciate all of you.”
So that’s it. The end. This was one of the most energetic and flawless shows I have experienced, from Chrome Sparks’ beautiful electronic melodies, to The M Machines driving bass, to finishing off with The Glitch Mobs unmatched energy and passion behind epic and beautiful beats. This was one not to miss.