Sunday, March 30, 2008

JUSTICE - SF Concourse

Let me begin by saying that I have been advocating for Justice the last 12-14 months. I am on board w/ their sound and I like their studio album. I am also OK with the "rejected" Fabric mix from January '08 that was borderline over-indulgent on disco-glam.

I have seen Justice perform on three occasions. 1. Coachella '07. 2. Mezzanine in SF last October. 3. Last Thursday at the Concourse in SF. Deterioration is evident.

The Coachella show was great and the Mezzanine was one of, if not the most fun, engaging and sound-bastic shows I have ever seen. Ninety minutes of straight mixing and good, continuous music. It was a fluid, true DJ set.

Expectations and anticipation were high for the event last Thursday. Some notes from the show:

1. They have seemingly completely abandoned the typical DJ set in favor of a more rock and roll based set. They played songs, kind of, that lasted 4-5 minutes. 3 minutes would be a build up, of sorts, to the crescendo, which was almost always underwhelming. It probably would've been better had they just played their album straight through. And that's not a good thing to report.

2. The first serious bass-drop was 45 minutes into the show. Not OK.

3. Stopping the music every 5 minutes, raising your arms in victory and urging the crowd to applaud your splendor does not make for a good dance program. That is what happens at rock concert.

4. Speaking of rock concert, the encore was basically an undancable speed metal Rob Zombie guitar riff showcased by bass hits and 8-bit video game noises. It was tailor made for the Guitar Hero III fans in the crowd and it was not the way to end a set. But, it was totally unique and I've got to give them credit for this as it was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Even though I didn't care for it.

5. I felt like the oldest kid in the house. I've never been to an event where they were more 18-21 year old strung-out, neon-clad, spandex wearing, mustache donning H-Ds in my life. Justice is now evidently "cool," which makes me consider this possibly being my last show of theirs, if only for the fact that the concert etiquette from this younger American Apparel supporting crowd was absolutely horrible, if not borderline rude.

6. The venue was raining sweat. Literally. Condensation built up from the audience to the ceiling and then dripped profusely like the jungles of Amazon.

7. If you watch the video you can see all the things that were annoying about the show: lack of drops, the sign-a-longs, stopping songs for applause and mindless buildup culminating with less then stellar and way too short reward. Everyone wants the reward and it was just something Justice used to do, but have abandoned in their recent show.

However, you can also see that the crowd was going ape-shit. Which makes me wonder if my expectations are you high? Am I totally jaded? Maybe, I Am just a snob? Should I stop over-analyzing things? Or, maybe I didn't have enough to drink....

With all that said, there were some interesting and redeeming qualities about the event. However, I think my days of paying to see Justice are now over, even though their draw and legacy are seemingly only just taking off.