Monday, May 05, 2008

Calvin Harris at the Henry Fonda Theater

If I didn't know better, I might have believed that Calvin Harris's claim that he created disco. Calvin stopped by the Henry Fonda Theater for a warm up show prior to his appearance at Coachella.

DJ Kid Lightning

The party atmosphere was warmed up by the bolts of dance music provided by DJ Kid Lightning. I enjoyed Kid Lightning's set as he deftly mixed tracks from Cut Copy, Crystal Castles and The Presets. I enjoyed the fact that he mixed the hooks from the particular songs and his set was primarily devoid of lyrics and emphasized the driving beats and swirled synthesizers. DJ Kid Lightning also spun a wicked set at the afterparty that included a bunch of party revelers fresh from the NME Awards Showcase.

Guns N' Bombs

Guns N Bombs was fully loaded this time around compared to when I saw them open for Digitalism at the El Rey. Both Filip Turbotito and Johnny Love were on hand spinning various vinyl records perched high in their DJ booth. They managed to dissect Human League's "Don't You Want Me" with some other electro blips and beats to get the dance floor moving.

Calvin Harris

The amount of '80s inspired synthesizer sounds mixed in with rocking guitars from Calvin Harris was highly addictive and compelled your body to move. Calvin Harris was ready to rock Coachella judging by the performance he turned in at the Henry Fonda. "Conjoined Skin" was a jolt of energy that quickly gave way to elastic bass lines and whirling synthesizers of "Certified". "Disco Heat" lived up to its name as the electronic cowbell was rattling amidst the various handclap samples. I noticed Calvin's keyboard player had a Yamaha DX7 and a Roland SH-201 stacked up to conquer the audience with patches that haven't been played in twenty years. "This Is The Industry" really drove the audience nuts as the version they played live was much faster compared to the recorded version. The falsetto vocals of "Acceptable In the 80's" blended in well with the driving slightly flanged bass line. "Merrymaking At My Place" was full of funk as Calvin sang over ping-pong synthesizer laser blasts. I was impressed in the song structure of Calvin's songs as he knew when to let the bass drop out and turn up the synthesizers as well as changing up the tempo of the songs to keep the attention of the listener. In terms of stage presence, Calvin was actively moving around the stage and engaging the crowd to get them even more involved. "Jerusalem" had a steady four on four disco beat with lush synth string samples combined with a bouncy piano riff. "Colours" and "Vegas" continued to move crowd as the oscillators in the synthesizers had to be smoking. Calvin wisely closed out the night with "I Created Disco" and "The Girls". I didn't make it to Coachella but heard reports that Calvin had the tent rocking. I can honestly say I wasn't surprised.


Mel said...


SO mad at you that you didn't take me along for that one, but at least I got to see him at Coachella. Hopefully he'll be back soon... he is just awesome!

gabby said...

i was at that concert, it was one of the best I have been too... energy was great and I was right up front.. adn hte youngest noe there :)