Amon Tobin

Caught Amon Tobin’s show over at the Commodore on Friday, alongside Lauren, Emira and Day. He was there as part of the Vancouver Jazz Festival‘s ‘New Groove’ series.

Opening for him was a local act that well, let’s just say they didn’t do it for me, and leave it at that. Amon Tobin himself was a much more interesting story. The set up was interesting: he was in the middle of the stage, with a screen for visuals on either side, as well as a see through screen in front of him: the effect was quite neat, as it meant that there could be visual between him and us, but we could still see him. His set seemed to take a while to warm up, as a he spun interesting things, but it didn’t seem terribly cohesive to me: little 3-5 minute tracks, rather a fluid seguing set that I’m used to from a dj set. Much of the crowd on the floor didn’t really know what to do either, as they’d just discover the rythmn of the track, and suddenly, he’d switched it up. The set was also quite short, it felt to me, as it wasn’t until the last 45 minutes or so that everything seemed to fall into place — while he still delighted in messing with our heads, bpm-wise, there was more of a flow by then. And then, it just stopped. He did an encore track, essentially a loop of some recognizable rock-riff over some drums, which, while fun, to dance to, was a little boring. During this he took the opportunity to do some of those dj-superstar things to get the crowd cheering, but really, it was a fairly low-key set from him.

I wasn’t disapointed in the set, as I did enjoy myself, but ironically, I think I would have preferred a slightly more song-focussed set, featuring some of the beautiful tracks from his discs, as opposed to this more ad-hoc feeling set. So a good set, but perhaps not all I’d hoped it would be.