Saturday, October 30, 2010

DJ Shadow - Live from the Shadowsphere

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Halloween in Las Vegas is one of the biggest party weekends all year, often overwhelming due to the number of venues booked with top notch talent. The House of Blues did not disappoint, booking one of the most talented artists in the industry, DJ Shadow. I was ecstatic, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Saturday night, dressed in a costume, dancing with DJ Shadow “Live from the Shadowsphere.”

Assuming this would be a popular event, I bought a extra tickets. To my surprise, most people I talked to did not know of him or were simply not interested. On the night of the show, I was stunned to find out only 200 tickets to had been sold to this show. Endtroducing... DJ Shadow’s studio record was named “All-TIME 100 Albums,” by TIME magazine. During the last twenty years, DJ Shadow is recognized as a true pioneer, master turntablist, and the creator of trip-hop. I suggest take a listen or read through his website or download his free app. There is also a podcast available of an interview with DJ Shadow prior to his performance here.

The venue was lightly crowded during Pigeon John, the opening act’s performance. A male hip hop vocalist accompanied by two females on either side, one rocking turntables and a laptop, the other singing backup. Pigeon John’s music was interesting, however he put out a lot of energy to a somewhat subdued audience. Upon finishing their set, a shout-out was given to DJ Shadow, causing the eager crowd to go ballistic. Not only anxious to find out what that large stage setup was for, but to also hear the turntables of a legend.

Right before DJ Shadow took the stage, technicians aligned several projectors around the white globe and backdrop, only heightening our interest and impatience. DJ Shadow dropped the house lights, relying only on his projector setup, filling the room with bass heavy beats and incredible psychedelic graphics. The Shadowsphere images were so well mapped, it often truly resembled a sphere, glass, or an optical illusion; I could not take my eyes off it. A few times, Shadow turned the globe to reveal himself or displayed real time video of himself playing from within the Shadowsphere.

DJ Shadow did not skip a beat, showing mad skills with the turntables, ranging from dancebeats to downtempo, Shadow kept it going for over two hours, including an encore. His incredible music, in a relatively small venue, with a small enough audience for a perfect dancefloor, all emphasized by his brilliant visuals, was mindblowing. Live from the Shadowsphere was an amazing display of a true artist and equally creative technology. Ranking as one of the top twenty best live performance’s, DJ Shadow’s performance was so unique, it’s nearly indescribable. I was lucky enough to capture permanent record of this experience, so without further adieu, I will let the video speak for itself.

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