Tuesday, June 03, 2008
The Presets at the El Rey Theatre
I have been a big fan of The Presets ever since I caught their Club NME show at Spaceland. I proceeded to see them catch them multiple times at the Echoplex as well as opening for the Rapture. Apocalypso is one of the strongest electronica releases of this year and their show at the El Rey was the first night of their tour supporting the new album.
Walter Meego used a heavy dose of keyboards and live instrumentation to grab my attention at their show at the Echo opening up for Cut Copy. Repetitive laser blasts of synthesizers dominated the track of "Girls" from their debut album Voyager. Justin Sconza (Vocals/Keyboards) effectively used his falsetto to croon through their set with some of the highlights being "Keyhole" and "Forever". Andrew Bernhardt (Guitars) did some wild tapping on his Fender Stratocaster as the synthesizers formed the framework of their songs. "Lost" blew me away again with its gigantic bass line and swirling sound effects. Walter Meego sounded even better then I remembered and I will have to pick up their new album.
I have never seen the El Rey Theatre more packed in my life. It was crowded at Digitalism but on this night I would guess the fire marshall would have cringed. The Presets were relentless in their aural assault on the audience. They opened with "Talk Like That" from their new album Apocalypso and the crowd was dancing immediately as a good majority of the audience knew the song. When I mentioned relentless, I meant it as the song morphed into the driving bass bleeps of "Down Down Down" as Julian Hamilton (Vocals/Synthesizers) improvised a miniature synth solo in the middle of the song. It was another blast from their album Beams as "Girl (You Chew My Mind Up)" blared over the speaker system. Kim Moyes (Drums/Synthesizers) had a sweet moon logo adorned on his drum kit as his arms flailed away at the drum kit. The songs from the new album sounded magnificent as they ran through "A New Sky" and "Eucalpytus". The classic sample from Pet Shop Boys immediately tipped me off that they would tear into "Are You The One?". "The Girl and The Sea" took on a new appearance as it was a distant cousin to the amazing Cut Copy remix on their Re-sets EP. A singular piano note crushed against a throbbing programed synthesizer line sounded divine as "This Boy's In Love" pulsated throughout the room. "Anywhere" sounded reminiscent of Depeche Mode Black Celebration era as the crowd started to clap along. "My People" was an absolute show stopper as The Presets had the crowd in the palm of their hand. My pictures unfortunately did not do justice to their performance so I leave you with the video above. This show will be in the top 5 of concerts attended this year.
The Presets setlist at the El Rey on May 20th 2008
"Talk Like That"
"Down Down Down"
"Girl (You Chew My Mind Up)"
"A New Sky"
"Are You The One?"
"The Girl and The Sea"
"This Boy's In Love"
"Kicking and Screaming"
"I Go Hard, I Go Home"