Live review: The Glitch Mob, Lotus, MiMOSA and the New Deal @ Red Rocks AmphitheatreBy Nate Etter | July 5th, 2011 | 2 comments
As celebratory fireworks showered over Morrison and the Denver skyline, electronic music filled the air Saturday night at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The show was headlined by L.A.-based trio the Glitch Mob and featured inspired performances by the New Deal, MiMOSA and Lotus.
The night began with a high-energy set by the New Deal, who will call it quits in 2011 after pioneering the jamtronica scene for the last 15 years. The three-piece band played a 45-minute set of synth-led techno, ensuring that they had time to get to Boulder for a late-night farewell show at the Fox Theatre. As always, Jamie Shields’ keyboard playing was outstanding, driving the jams with complex, catchy hooks using a myriad of sounds.
As the sun set and the light show began, up-and-coming West Coast producer MiMOSA took to the stage. Sporting his signature mohawk/mullet and a black tee, the DJ immediately went out with the old and in with the new. The set featured hard-hitting spurts of dubstep (accompanied by cheers from the crowd), but unlike some of the more unrelenting artists in the genre, MiMOSA divided these peaks with accessible beats and smooth samples. Though very experimental, much of the producer’s tracks were firmly grounded in hip-hop, sampling verses from the likes of Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes.
Worthy to be a headliner themselves, it was Lotus that stole the crowd from the start. Since downsizing to four members, the precision and spacing of the jam band’s music has been elevated to new heights. The tasteful exchanges between brothers Jesse and Luke Miller were simple yet well orchestrated behind lead guitarist Mike Rempel’s jazzy licks. Lotus’ set was an easy-listening dance party that climaxed in an epic take of their melodic classic “Umbilical Moonrise” as the first of the fireworks cracked in the distance. It was certainly one of the most memorable moments from the Red Rocks season thus far.
Following a half-hour set-break, the Glitch Mob began their production and showed why their light show turns heads everywhere they go. After entering a fog-covered stage dressed in ominous hooded shawls, each of the three DJ’s got comfortable behind their own diamond-shaped throne outlined in tube lights. These lights were syncopated to whichever DJ was being featured. Behind that was a rectangle composed of 21 LED screens spaced out but all connected to create one image.
Though the group’s glitchy, artificial sound was hardly as pleasing as Lotus in their prime, they did create a very primal presence. All three DJ’s had Lemur pads and drum machines angled in front of the them for the crowd to see and added significant live percussion to the mix with both their hands and drumsticks. Playing an improvised set that struck gold at moments (like a three-way drum machine solo) and lost you at others, the Glitch Mob ended the night with a bass-heavy remix of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
Nate Etter is a Boulder-based musician and a new contributor to Reverb.
Ryan Dearth is a Denver-based photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.
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