“Hmm. A Wednesday night…how strange,” I thought to myself. But then again, this is Shpongle we are talking about. Of course it would be strange. If you think you “get weird”, I can assure you that Shpongle gets weirder. And after further consideration, it would be nice if more of my Wednesdays were weirder.
This evening, Simon Posford (aka Hallucinogen) would play a solo DJ set and bring along his new and improved Shpongletron 3.0 – one of the most innovative stage set-ups in the game. When the entity of Shpongle plays live, Posford is joined by the inimitable Raja Ram, the highly acclaimed flautist and Cunning Linguist supreme. Their tribal-style of downtempo electro music is ever-evolving and reactive to the creative elements around them. Psychedelic is an understatement.
Another strange element of the night was the venue. Avalon Nightclub is often home to the house and dubstep types; I was unsure how Shpongle would fit in here. The crowd was spirited and genuine, a welcome change from the usual pushy-whiny demographic on a typical Friday or Saturday. The show wasn’t packed, but there was so much soul in that room that it felt full. The crowd was made of people from every walk of life: electro-hipsters, aged-burners, shirtless-Europeans. I always appreciate how genuinely authentic people are at Shpongle shows. Live your truth, people. It’s weird and beautiful!
Posford was in excellent form. With his trademark long-feathered hat on his head, he conducted his odd, enticing symphony with precision and skill. It’s so fun to watch a season vet take the stage and still love what he does so many years. He seems so charming; I want to be his friend. The intense, Eastern-influenced thrill ride that is “Electroplasm” got the crowd moving early on in the set. Posford shifts dynamics and styles so smoothly throughout his set, it all feels fluid. My favorite moment of the night was the light-handed, methodical groove “How The Jelly Fish Climbed The Mountain”.
What a refreshing evening that was. Shpongle is a colorful, innovative beam of light in an industry that grows more typical by the day. Revolutionizing the intersection of visual and audio elements, they continue to surprise me with every performance that I am lucky enough to take in. Whether a sunrise set on Mulberry Mountain at Wakarusa or on a mild Wednesday night in downtown Hollywood, they are an ever-evolving synthesis of creative genius that bring something fresh and exciting to every stage they touch.
Posford will be working his way around the Midwest and East Coast with Desesrt Dwellers through the rest of the spring before ending with a wild weekend in Colorado. Find out more info at www.shponglemusic.com.
3/28 – Chicago, IL (Concord Music Hall)
3/29 – Pontiac, MI (The Crofoot)
3/30 – Pittsburgh, PA (Mr. Smalls Theatre)
4/1 – Northampton, MA (Pearl Street)
4/2 – New Haven, CT (Toad’s Place)
4/3 – New York, NY (Irving Plaza)
4/4 – New York, NY (Irving Plaza)
4/5 – Philadelphia, PA (Electric Factory)
4/6 – Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
4/9 – Boston, MA (House of Blues)
4/10 – Westbury, NY (The Space at Westbury)
4/25-27 – Rome, GA (Counterpoint Music Festival)
5/2 – Brussels, Belgium (Brussels Event Brewery)
5/9 – Boulder, CO (Fox Theatre)
5/10 – Morrison, CO (Red Rocks Amphitheater) *full band*