The Chemical Brothers DJ Set, Audiotistic Festival , Los Angeles, CA October 18th 2003, by Mia Hill
Just got back from the show. I have to say, it's been a rough week, I wasn't even for sure I was going to make it, *but* I really needed the night out.
I went to my friend's wedding and skipped out around 8:20 or so, and I changed in the car on the way up to Los Angeles. Made good time - it only took about a half hour to get there, then we husband and I) had to pay $15 for parking which was all the way in friggen Egypt. But that's OK.
The gig was to be held at the Los Angeles Sport arena, which is huge, and looks like a giant green flying saucer from the outside. Perfect. Once inside, we saw that the upper level was devoted mainly to hip-hop acts, and the bottom level was devoted to the dance acts.
Once there, we met up with listees Paulie and Ana, along with their friends Jamie and Aram (same folks from Coachella.) The Chems weren't going on for another hour, so we just kind of wandered, used the toilets, got water/beer - then skipped into the massive dance area where there were green lasers supporting Bad Boy Bill amidst a backdrop of crazy images on a big screen. There was a go-go dancer and all I thought was, I hope she isn't gonna be dancing up there on stage in front of God and everyone like she was for Bad Boy Bill(she disappeared, thank god!!!) We all inched our way toward the front, and when Bad Boy Bill's set ended a few of his fans at the very front (a little to the Chem's left) kindly made way for us, giving us a w00t. Wow, up front, it was like being a teenager all over again. So far the vibe was pretty good, wouldn't you say?
Ed, wearing a black shirt with blue squares, pretty much swiped Bad Boy Bill off the stage, and Tom emerged, just hanging out while the set ended so they could take over at 10:15. And of course he was wearing his little back hat and that black French shirt with the tank on it. Those who've seen their other gigs or pics of gigs know which one I'm talking about. ;)
Now, I am the world's shittiest trainspotter, and I'm not functioning at full brain capacity right now, so no set list. But there was plenty-o sweet sweet acid house with booming bass. Went perfect with those lasers. Anyway, their set definitely had peaks and valleys (good) - and their set went really well with the vibe of the crowd, dare I say, controlled it. And to all those Golden Path haters, I was there in the front like a complete dork, along with my husband, singing every word (it was the vocal remix with the soaring, pronounced "you are forgiven" which seemed to elate the crowd and reach for those lasers. They also played Under the Influence (Mix 2) which was really cool, and hearing it loud and busting really made it feel "live." Then during the show Tom did one of those segues, kind of like at the end of the BBC session, and since I heard that squelchy, delicious segue, I thought for sure they were going to end it with Tommow Never Knows - but they didn't. They just kept trooping onward, relentlessly. I was sweating and dancing so hard, I know I'm going to feel it in my ol' aching bones tomorrow. Or today... what day is it now??
I have a feeling we'd heard heard Here Comes the Drums, but it was likely (as another fan from over the pond pointed out later) an alternate mix of It Began in Afrika. There were actually more of the "It Began In Afrika ka ka ka ka ka's" dabbled with numerous tumultous orgies of massive drums beats. It didn't entirely sound like the original It Began In Afrika, but it had a similar feel. Very earthy, but much more pronounced, wild drumming.
Tom was at the decks more than Ed, who seemed to be in charge of crowd control, and every once in a while they'd hug and get these big smiles on their faces. Ed was a little frightened of Jamie though, who was standing next to my right. She was wearing a top that said "Hey Boys, Hey Girls" and she was at a prime spot to have her picture taken with Ed when he meandered his way to our area in front of the stage. But he backed away - almost looking mortified!
They played Get Yourself High which sounded wicked at ear shattering decibles. Especially during the naughty part where K-os says "woo!" and there's that deep synth sound that sounds like synthesizers are having sex. Anyway. And another crowd pleaser was Star Guitar, which is just wicked at any time and this night it was no exception.
Jeez, there was so much more but I am awful tired and not completely coherant as a good girl ought to be.
So I must have folded space, because I looked at my watch and it was around 12:10. We almost squeezed a full 2 hour set by them, which was longer than the powers that be said they were going to play. I couldn't believe I was dancing nonstop for almost 2 hours - it felt like heaven, like a wonderful release after the rough week I had.
The show ended with Hey Boy Hey Girl, and Ed walked over to our side of the stage, and put out his hands for a handshake. Needless to say, that was brilliant, a damn shame I had to eventually wash my hand. I can't even remember what I said exactly, I think it was "thank you!" or something along those lines, but nobody could've heard me over the crowd anyway.
So that was that! A fun night had by all in my Chemical Brother (and Sister) hood. And I finally, after 2 gigs I missed experiencing the Chemicals with Ana, those two failed attempts as fate would have with us at Coachella, I finally got to dance by her side. 3 tries a charm, baby!