Saturday, October 14, 2006

Basement Jaxx at Webster Hall: Oh lordy, the monkeys!

Never mind that Basement Jaxx are featured on the cover of this month's British dance music bible, Mixmag. When I got to Webster Hall to see one of the only two shows they were performing in the US in support of their new CD, Crazy Itch Radio, the place was almost empty! This despite the fact that a 2nd show had been cancelled and tickets for that night were being honored on Wednesday.

Opening band The Double (wha..? There was an opening band?) strolled in looking a bit unsure whether to start playing for the meager few. They were mostly lambasted by online reviewers as you can read below but I actually thought their first few songs were pretty great. They seemed to lose their way towards the end and the sound system wasn't helping. Mostly, they served as a backdrop for a couple of young drunk boys that were making out just in front of the stage leaving a puddle of saliva on the floor (it was actually pretty funny, hm, was I that sloppy a kisser back when I was their age?).

The boyfriend arrived just in time to make me forget how old I've become. Thankfully, a few more people were also straggling in and by the night's end there was a pretty good crowd.

The Jaxx launched the show with all guns blasting: Lisa Kekaula from the Bellrays joined three hottie trumpet players, Jaxx'er Felix Buxton behind the synth keyboards, fourteen drummers, six giraffes and the kitchen sink on a lively "Good Luck" - except it took me a bit to recognize the song because the sound system continued to suck.

From there on it was just a 'just the hits, ma'm, we're just playing the hits' show including oldies "Romeo," "Do Your Thing," "Red Alert" and their biggest US hit "Where's Your Head At?" - with Felix going bongazoid and the crowd nearly breaking Webster Hall's wooden floor from jumping so hard. There were also the newbies "Hey You," "Oh My Gosh" and the new great single "Take Me Back to Your House" from the new album (no "Hush Boy" in the set though they did play the lame "Lights Go Down").

The highlight was the ragga-on-steroids madness that is "Jump'n'Shout" which might have derailed a subway train or two had they passed by underground during the song. And then, lordy, all those monkeys!! Almost shit my pants there were so many monkeys! (Hm, you had to be there I guess).

Some of the more discerning bloggers noticed a pretty important thing that I missed: The madness was achieved without half of the core Basement Jaxx duo, Simon Ratcliffe (apparently he was busy helping the wife have a baby).

So yeah, a pretty amazing show even though I still think the Summer Stage concert I saw way back was better (even the sound was better and that was OUTDOORS!). This time they stuck to showcasing the hits which was ok, I guess, but it seemed to lack some overall cohesion. Then again, maybe I'm asking too much of the concerts I attend.

Hm, maybe I'll get to write about that absolutely amazing Zero 7 show I saw at the same venue just a couple of weeks ago? Definitely on my top ten list of live shows ever.

Blog reviews:
YouTube videos of the concert

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