Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bacardi B-Live Tour w/Stereofaith x Matt and Kim x Major Lazer Recap

The DMV Hipster set (yes I said DMV Hipster) was out in full force this past Saturday for the DC leg of the Bacardi B-Live Tour with Major Lazer at Rock and Roll Hotel. Now I'll be honest, this was my first exposure to Rock and Roll Hotel, Matt and Kim and my first live exposure to either of the members of Major Lazer, pronounced MAY-JAH LAY-ZAH! as the Jamaican accented drop suggests. The venue was everything I expected, big and divey, therefore perfectly fitting for an event of this nature.

Hometown DJ, Stereofaith, got the crowd warmed up in true Stereofaith fashion with a pre-show set that took you from Biggie/Wu-Tang/Mobb Deep laced 90s Hip Hop, some Bmore Club just in time for the entrance made by the merchandise buyers who were harboring upstairs for the first 90 minutes of event and upon exiting left us with some unfamiliar electro hip hop remixes that I was pleased to hear. I gotta say he successfully took the crowd from "It's about time they let us in this place" to "Party Time! Excellent!".

The BK transplanted Electro-Punk boyfriend/girlfriend duo, Matt and Kim, have honestly got to be the happiest punk rock folks I've ever seen. I saw not one bit of anarchist anger gleam from them during their performance. In fact I had to ask myself, "Why are they so friggin' happy?" I was so into their music and stage presence that I started following them on Twitter right after their set. The Pratt Institute grads hit tracks from their self-titled 2006 debut such as "Dash After Dash" and "Grand" along with a few cuts from their latest venture, Grand, including "Daylight", "Good Ol' Fashion Nightmare", "I Wanna" and my personal favorite "Cinders". They also managed to fit in a couple live electro remix intros of Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and Dead Prez's "Hip Hop" at which point the crowd begins chanting the hook in unison. Unlike the last time I heard "Hip Hop" at an event, I was relieved to see their was no sexy dancing taking place from the misinformed this time.

And finally...the moment we've all been waiting for...MAY-JAH LAY-ZAH! These bammas came out in matching suits on some made for Esquire Blues Brothers type ish. Diplo and Switch gave an electronically dub-stepped dancehall presentation complete with masquerading dancing girls and a hype Dread that appeared on stage like the Predator coming out of the swamp. They did a super mix of tracks you may already know from their debut, Guns Don't Kill People, Lazers Do (Hold the Line, When You Hear the Bassline and Pon de Floor). They managed to work in Darude's "Sandstorm" (of all randomness to choose from) and drop a dancehall versed rendition of our favorite Jim Jones song (read Ron Browz) of 2008, "Pop Champagne". The predatory hype man decided to get some crowd participation going and brought a few ladies from the audience on stage to break it down for the people and apparently they were ready for action. I also can't forget to mention the trippy video screens that I had to block out because I was really freaked out and I was completely sober. Displaying visual aids from their album cover to these vampire skeleton monsters (AAAHHH!), despite my fear I thought it was a necessary addition to their set. Major Lazer's whole set reminded me of what I envisioned all live UK Drum and Bass mixes to look like. I'm planning to confirm that in September so in the meantime I'll just go with my imagination.

If you missed the show, it's all good because Stereofaith is probably DJing at a spot across the street from the places you frequent while Matt and Kim and Major Lazer are only $10 on iTunes. A sweat inducing, "you may bust your ass on the floor" good time was had at Rock and Roll Hotel that evening amongst the pop-locking, breaking and two-stepping club kids of the DC area. I hope this serves as a more informed and positive review of the show for those checking for recaps.

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