Club Cinema, Pompano Beach
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Better Than: That gut-wrenching stomach ache that comes from eating too many poisonous mushies.
Israeli psy-trance duo Infected Mushroom are veterans of the dancefloor scene, but in all their years of bringing the heat, we've never seen them like this.
Their newest album is chock-full of electrified, hyphy goodness. They pumped their energy level to a whole new high. But four-to-the-floor aside, the production level on this latest Fungusamonugs tour was honestly one of the most incredible things we've ever witnessed.
We got to the all-ages venue while Influence of XTa-C worked the decks. Like, every five minutes the MC would remind us, "you're still under the influence of XTa-c," and we were just kind of hoping it would wear off soon. Of course, this was more a point of fact than a punny DJ name for most of the audience, already sweating bullets and hunting down the nearest sap with a piece of gum.
Shreddie Mercury hit the stage at about 11:22 p.m., switching gears into a well-mixed hard electro set. He hyped the crowd with his body, jumping and waving his arms. We milled about getting our drink on, taking note of the diverse crowd. We were approached by a gay porn star at one point. You never know who you'll meet at Club Cinema.
At about 12:15, stage hands appeared to quickly disassemble the small DJ booth at the foot of the stage. Until now, performers had utilized a few feet in front of a big white sheet which hid the incredible stage design. The MC led the crowd in an "Infected Mushroom" chant which succeeded in getting us very excited.
"Who wants Infected Mushroom really fucking bad? 1, 2, 3?" he said inquisitively. "No, they said no, they can't hear you. They're going to sit there 'till you're loud and proud. Ft. Lauderdale, are you ready for Infected Mushroom?"
This time, the screams were more to their liking, and the great white sheet came down.
We saw it; two great spheres hovering in a giant screen, the insides of each contained one member of the Mushie group, glowing green from the inside. It came alive instantly. Projections of giant mushrooms popped on the screen, and we began a journey that would leave us totally and utterly mind blown.
As the set went on, the music got more encompassing, the visuals more astounding. Singer Duvdev worked the microphone, and although he was mostly unintelligible, we understood that he kept asking us to jump and show him out hands from time to time. He would come out from behind his spherical hub and spin around, singing to the crowd and jumping up and down like a real rockstar. Meanwhile, Eisen stayed put in his sphere, pumping out psychedelic synth lines and melodies to transport the trippy crowd to all corners of the mushroom kingdom.
They have a real sense of musicality, which took us on a solid journey with highs and lows, peaks and valleys. There were slow, reflective moments, hopeful upward movements, and nasty, hard drops. Visually, we tripped through forests, oceans, underground caverns, outer space, the inner workings of the mind, and plain abstract colors and patterns. All of this 3-D mapped with incredible realness and precision.
They played a lot of material from their latest album Army of Mushrooms, including "Nevermind,""U R So Fucked," and their cover of the Foo Fighters' "The Pretender." But they kept old fans happy, working through familiar hits like "Cities of the Future" and "Becoming Insane," though the set was heavier on the new side. Some older fans in attendance noted the change in style, but were simply too awestruck to mind.
By 1:44 a.m., they took their leave, but returned in a few minutes for a special encore, the most impressive visuals of the night. Honestly, it was nothing short of a mushroom trip. The same freaky patterns and colors, mixed with the kind of shit you see when your television screen is broken. It was definitely in the top three of most incredible visuals we've ever witnessed.
And then it was really over. We knew because the local MC got back on stage, talking about this and that. Suddenly, we were back from our trip, and remembered we were in Club Cinema, with the floors as trashed as the faces of people around us. We high-tailed it out of there, but for the hour and a half, Infected Mushroom controlled our lives, it was nothing short of amazing.
Personal Bias: I can only imagine what it would have been like to witness that on drugs. I'm surprised people could even walk after that.
The Crowd: Infected Mushroom fans of all ages. We talked to some people who were 40, and some people who couldn't have been much older than 16.
Fun Fact: The same company that produced Amon Tobin's incredible ISAM tour, V Squared Labs, is the same masterminds behind Infected Mushrooms amazing Fungusamongus set-up.
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