The Glitch Mob came to Reno on a humid, rainy evening. I started smelling pot halfway from my parking spot at the Sands. Inside, Cargo was a zoo. It was hot and loud as hell. I had to wipe off my lenses multiple times due to the change in temperature and the ravers’ heavy breathing. Can these neon-colored millennials still be called ravers?
Not gonna lie, I can’t critique EDM music too efficiently. Who do you compare them to? They lack narrative richness when compared to electronic acts I call my favorites: Pet Shop Boys, Animal Collective and Moderat. But when you compare them to your friend, The DJ, The Glitch Mob is stellar.
Even with my old-man earplugs in, it was way too loud, especially in the front. When the melody was audible, it did get me dancing, but hearing that bass for more than an hour is how I picture hell.
I did see plenty of musicianship. Something I hold so essential when watching live … music. I understand producing, beat-matching and song selection take talent. I also realize a party is a party. But when the audience only sees the performer push buttons then raise their hand when the bright lights come up in search for cheers, it can be a little disappointing.
The three members of The Glitch Mob aren’t those types of bros, bro. They break out drums sticks and get deep into vibes while laying down the percussion. Their midi-controllers are angled out to face the crowd so they can watch them hunt and peck for the perfect one of 12 notes. They look like huge iPads with 10 or so rectangles blipping on them like an overly-simplified piano.
The crowd was in good spirits. There were plenty of “I’ll have what he’s having” moments. There were also some funny squabbles over front-row territory because, “I’ve been waiting here for three hours, there’s no way you’re getting in front of me, bro.” Direct quote.
They seem to have some solid branding. I saw lots of astronaut helmets. The band members and the audience also kept exchanging hand signals.
The transition from pulsating bass to heavy Reno rain was calming. A young man was sitting outside the show getting drenched and staring into the sky. I hope his sober-sitters found him shortly after I left. Let us close with a moment of silence for his cold, wet butt.
– Tony Contini