Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t get an interview with anyone, but I was going to the show regardless. It seemed that Mount Kimbie and Beats Antique were playing together for the first time, having been involved in separate tours up to this point. I must admit that it’s a bit of an unusual pairing, but in fact, they have many similarities.
The Tailor opened, and wasn’t what I expected. Put a shy guy from Vancouver, BC, by way of Manitoba, on the stage with some weird electric four-string banjo and a laptop and what do you get? Some very interesting folkish, Gypsy music that is hard to describe but very listenable and makes for an interesting presentation. He really did warm up the crowd with his chatting and personality.
Mount Kimbie came on next, a surprise because I’d thought they’d play last, and immediately began impressing me with their sound. Their EPs and album, Crooks & Lovers, don’t prepare the audience for the live show. Both of the guys were up, with heads nodding pushing buttons on the MPCs and banging on the drum pad. A guitar came out, as did the cymbal, and we even got some singing. To hear the recording is a shadow of what their live show is. They are, no doubt, performing their music instead of just playing it. Indeed, they even swapped equipment for one track.
It should be noted that the crowd was biased towards Beats Antique, an easy call based on the variety of garb indicating some interest in the belly dancing vibe of Beats Antique. That said, Mount Kimbie really did get the crowd going a number of times and they left a very impressed fan in myself. I wanted to hear more, and I do hope they return.
Beats Antique revved up the audience immediately. I was quickly impressed that the full drum set, which I’d been puzzled by, was used from the first song to the last. On the other side of the stage was a setup with a MacBook Pro, cymbal, more controls, drum pad, and most importantly the electric fiddle. Add the clarinet and sax player, with Zoe Jakes herself banging on a drum squad kickdrum, and the crowd was treated to an intense, vibrant, and fascinating performance.
Zoe, and at times one or two other dancers, also treated us to their skills on many of the songs. I’ve never been a fan of bellydancing as a performance, but in this context it worked very, very well. There lied a cohesiveness between the elements that made for a riveting performance. Unsure what to expect beforehand, I was left duly impressed.
All told, this was a great trio of artists who ply their trade well. All blended electronics and sampling with instruments in one way or another. I do hope to see their names on another marquee in Utah.