Amon Tobin: ISAM Live 2.0 @ The Orpheum Theater

The ISAM 2.0 show was one of the most interesting electronic shows I've ever been to. For one, it was in a theater. It became obvious why as soon as the curtain went up. There's no way that stage setup would fit at any of the clubs here. Secondly, this is a show you definitely have to watch, so having a lot of seats with a perfect view is important. Speaking of seating, it is a little unusual to have an electronic or EDM show in a seated venue. I saw some head bobbing going on, and saw a few people get up and dance. I'm guessing more people would have danced, had they not been confined to chairs.

If you saw DJ Shadow's most recent tour, ISAM was the same thing just on a much better and more detailed scale. I thought I had read something that gave me the impression it was suppose be live visuals in tune with the music. The only part that I thought this was true was when he was doing the air piano inside his cube and the image was projected and morphed onto the giant cube. That was pretty amazing to see, but the only "live" visuals that I could tell. Still, it was pretty amazing to think that this was a stationary "cube" wall, and it was moving and in 3D.

The 2 encores were a bit strange. After an hour he came out and waved and bowed, which I thought it meant it was over. Luckily he went back in and kept playing for another 15 minutes or so. Then came out again, waved, bowed and went back in and played for another 10 minutes. I didn't really notice that the visuals were any better or more complex at this point, they were just different. I think If you're going to do 2 encores, you should be pulling out all the stops and blowing us away. It was a great spectacle to watch, but didn't feel like it built up at the end. I think that would have made even more of an impact if you ask me.

This show is a must see. It's not like anything out there right now or at least much different than most stuff. Plus, being in a theater, I think all the kids left their stupid rave shit clothing at home. I didn't see one pacifier or one glowstick!

Here's the City Page's review. They were really reading into this performance if you ask me.

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Lollapalooza 2012

Lollapalooza 2012

Given last year's Lollapalooza was the most awesome AND the worst, I had a goal this year.  Don't. Fuck. It. Up.  I was so close. 

The trip started out as usual, took the Megabus to Chicago with bro-in-law and friend.  Aside from the no a/c and cramped quarters we actually had a pretty good time on the drive.  We passed the time with movies, games, and some drinking. Got to Chicago in one piece, got picked up and went to the bar with the other bro-in-law then headed home and slept.  The next morning we got up, headed out to get some lunch, and then headed to the park and successfully snuck in the bro-in-law.  The first band we caught was at Perry's, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.  I was diggin it, but then got outvoted to head over to Dr Dog.  What a bore that was.  Seriously, it was not my thing at all.  I'm not sure what we did at this point.  I think we went back to Perry's to check out Zedd and caught some of Madeon.  From here we went to Die Antwoord, something that I wasn't going to miss.  It turned out to be my favorite show of the weekend.  They blazed through a quick 1 hour set, hitting all their hits.  I really wished they didn't play First Ave the next night because I think this would have been an amazing show to catch in a club.  We walked all the way back to Perry's to catch NERO, but then decided to walk all the way back to the other end again to get a spot for Black Sabbath.  Although I would have liked to see Bassnectar, I figured this was going to be one of last times to see Black Sabbath live.  Expectantly, Ozzy's voice was a little rough.  It was a lot like seeing your grandpa getting crazy at a wedding, so at least he had a lot of energy on stage.  We did get the feeling he was reading the lyrics to every song, but did a good job keeping up the pace.  It was a good show once you got past the fact that they were past their prime.  

Day two started out with us running to see Chief Keif at Perry's.  He's a Chicago rapper that was granted a spot within a couple weeks of the show.  He had a couple songs that were catchy, but wow was he a horrible live performer, not that that is any different than every other rapper.  I even think he lip synced most of hit short set, which makes it even more ridiculous.  Did I mention it was crazy hot outside? It was really hot, so just by standing still watching this show, we were all drenched in sweat.  So what better time to start drinking.  Now, in order to repeat last years early Saturday departure, I really paced myself and didn't over do it.  So we hit Doomtree, which I thought was good.  I've not actually seen them live yet, so it was good to see a MN band, outside of MN.  We went back to check out Star Slinger at Perry's, but weren't all that impressed and decided to hit the grass and watch Neon Indian and relax and get some drinks.  Then the storm came.  All off the sudden, Neon Indian stops, announces that they have to stop playing and we all have to leave the park.  Mind you, the weather at this point is perfect.  Sunny, hot, and not a cloud in the sky.  We figured we'd just wait it out in the park, but they literally kicked every person out of the park.  Since 90,000 people were hitting every bar right outside the park, we decided to go a little further to avoid the crowds.  So with my expert navigation skills we made it to an empty parking garage, where we rode out Tropical Storm Lollapalooza.  As it passed we found a McDonald's grabbed some food and head the show was back on.  Getting back in we were able to see Skream & Benga, which were ok.  Kinda glad I didn't see them here in Mpls. Then Calvin Harris came on.  That was a blast.  It was a welcome change from all the dubstep being played at Perry's that weekend.  From here, I left everyone and went to see Avicii.  I'd seen Santigold and RHCP before, so it was an easy choice to see Avicii.  Now I like Levels, it's a good song, but it is played out.  So I thought it was hilarious that he started out his set with it.  Hopefully he meant it as a joke, but probably not.  I had a great time at this show, all by myself.  I later described my experience as dancing for my life.  Just a fun fun time.  As soon as the show was over, I grabbed a cab right outside the park and headed to the Bro-in-laws for the annual Lolla after party.  Pretty happy I made it this year, but it was pretty much a blur from here on out.  Got to his place, ran into some MN friends that were in town for a bachelorette party and coming to the party.  Went inside, said some quick hellos, changed, and was almost immediately pulled into a game of flip cup.  Then almost just as quickly we headed to the bar.  Again, dancing like crazy and dry humping (no idea why) everyone there.  Then shots, then nearly passing out, cab, and more passing out, got home, passing out, puked, and finally bed.  

Even though I made it to and through the party, Sunday I felt miserable.  I thought I was going to rally, making it to brunch, but then couldn't eat, and had to go home and sleep for another few hours.  I finally made it back to the park at 5.  Ugh.  It's tough having a monumental hangover and hanging out with people who are hammered.  People bumping into you, talk yelling at your, and waving drinks in your face, does not help a hangover in any way.  I caught a bit of Toro Y Moi, Big Gigantic, and then Miike Snow.  I was able to get a spot sitting to see Miike Snow, which was so nice.  Luckily I'm seeing them here in Mpls soon, which will be a much better experience.  I did manage to see Jesse from Breaking Bad walking away from Miike Snow, which was crazy.  Finally to end the night, I sat on the hill and watched Jack White.  It was good, but I couldn't see shit, so that was a bummer, but I wasn't about to get up and move.

My goal next year is to definitely make it to Sunday without a hangover that causes me to get to the park at 5 and hate being there.  We'll see. 

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