Whoooo! Digitalism shook The Shelter in Downtown Detroit on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 and the JobbieCrew was there to capture everything. Special thanks to Jess Thibodeau and his hard-working team for making this possible.
Digitalism, an electronica duo from Hamburg, Germany, who record all of their music in an old WWII bunker, are here on their “Mirage” North American Tour for their new album “Mirage,” which dropped on May 13th.
The Shelter is in the basement of St. Andrew’s Hall, two of Downtown Detroit’s best live music venues. You enter The Shelter from the rear of the building, walk downstairs into a brick walled fallout shelter with a stage, bar and DJ booth. The Shelter is a delightfully intimate venue, you feel like you’re in someone’s basement.
Opening for Digitalism is “French Horn Rebellion,” an electronica duo from Brooklyn, the Molinari Brothers, who both play the French Horn over electronica beats. Unfortunately, David Molinari couldn’t make it, so his brother Robert Molinari was flying solo on this one and doing a kickass job! Robert was jumping down into the audience in his white patent leather shoes and dancing around.
The French horn unfairly gets a bad rap. Mostly by people who don’t appreciate the complexities and inherent difficulties of the instrument and what sort of talent it takes to be able to play it well. Robert Molinari is a one-man French horn revolution. French horn funk, Molinari brothers style, sounds like if George Clinton went snorkeling inside an elephant and came wooshing out and down the trunk on a wave of thumping funkified beats.
One young man in the audience here has a burgundy backpack containing a French horn. That’s a true fan right there, folks! There’s a lot of pretty dancing people in brightly colored shoes undulating about as Robert divides the crowd into two groups and does a dance battle. He then plays Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on the French horn as a big titty hipster girl in silver shoes that look like they were dipt in liquid mercury, dances seductively for the crowd.
DIGITALISM finally takes the stage. The white t-shirted duo from Hamburg, Germany, are standing behind a transparent projector screen, illuminated by sophisticated project-mapping deigns. The buildup feels like a spaceship taking off out of The Shelter. Like two arms swinging two machetes and twirling, turning into helicopter blades and blasting off. What proceeds is a psychedelic odyssey of thick heavy rattle-your-ribcage beats accompanied by a rushing rainbow-spectrum flow of whimsical images and geographic designs racing over their faces.
You can feel the beats sonically blasting into your solar plexus. There’s even some hip-hop elements and nightmare echoes from a Hamburg bunker infused throughout their DJ set. Hard, heavy, relentless, funky and thick, that’s the Digitialism sound. Rippling faces and interactive images, everything is designed to transport you out of your body, and working remarkably well. Digitalism play “Zdarlight,” big crowd favorite, and their entire “Mirage,” album, with their song “Power Station” receiving the biggest audience response.
Afterwards, I get some excellent hot wings from Sweetwaters Tavern directly across the street, sit on my car trunk beneath the glow of GM Renaissance Center’s 770-foot tall towers and reflect on the show, eating hot wings with bleu cheese, as the rain comes gently spooling down. Digitalism is fantastic live. Highly recommended. Never underestimate the raw power of live music.
DIGITALISM photo gallery:
FRENCH HORN REBELLION photo gallery: