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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 18, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 11
Simian Mobile Disco overwhelms in short, splashy concert
Arts & Entertainment
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Simian Mobile Disco overwhelms in short, splashy concert

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Simian Mobile Disco
March 9
Neumos


It neared midnight when Simian Mobile Disco finally went on stage last week at Neumos to play a set that equaled an episode of Gossip Girl in length, yet concertgoers who squeezed into the main floor and balcony didn't seem the least bit perturbed. If they came to dance, they were well-rewarded.

The British electronic duo - James Ford and Jas Shaw, the latter having interviewed with Seattle Gay News a few years ago - kicked off the show with "Sleep Deprivation" from 2007's Attack Decay Sustain Release album. It was a fiery opening, with strobe lights blinking like crazy and a noise level that could probably be heard for blocks. The pair then segued into "Sweetbread," from 2010's Delicacies CD, pure ear-candy accompanied by flashing circular silver lights that looked like a broken necklace tossed in the air.

Quickly and smoothly, "Sweetbread" was knitted into "It's the Beat," and the place went insane. The crowd - a heaping spoonful of Gays, straights, and potentially both - twisted their bodies in all sorts of directions in appreciation. Except for the handwaves during the entrance and exit, SMD never interacted with the audience - they didn't need to, because their job was to provide the tunes for this hot mess of a party.

"10,000 Horses Can't Be Wrong" included a brief pause towards the end, it stopped suddenly and then was re-blasted through the speakers like dynamite - it was awesome! Also great was a sassy version of "Audacity of Huge," the latest club hit from the Ford-Shaw combo who launched their careers as DJs-turned-remixers - Ford is a producer on the side, helming projects by Arctic Monkeys, Florence & the Machine, and Peaches.

While the show was thrilling, there were moments when it was a bit much. At one point, the lighting was so out of control that some folks had their backs turned to the stage, or others just left. Sound-wise, the music was sharper than Simian Mobile's Disco previous Neumos appearance in 2008, and the overall set list was stronger.

"Tits & Acid" closed out the main portion, before Ford and Shaw wrapped things up with a furious encore - a bashing of distorted keyboards and a flood of lights that was plain overkill. With lightning-bolt speed, SMD not only exited the stage, but also vacated the premises entirely.

It was a really cool show, honestly. I could've used a longer set and less illumination, but on the bright side I went down a waist size.

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