Ft. Lauderdale got mad trippy for a Tuesday, mane, and they did it with masks on.
It might have been the wrong side of humpday, but downtown turned it out in droves for the psychedelic antics from Shpongle at the Revolution Live.
Hippies, ravers, bassheads, and anyone who loves a spectacle braved the morning and made time to get weird. Even the pied-piper himself, Simon Posford, was impressed.
Turns out there's a big market for multi-dimensional beats in the 9-5-4.
With Halloween on everyone's mind, the UK producer and his touring Masquerade were the perfect way to kick off the costume frenzy. Some of the more fanciful beat-freakers showed up incognito, faces hidden behind store-bought disguises the likes of which you might see on Bourbon Street.
As the dance floor filled, the opener laid down chill dub-wubs, plopped dead-center of the stage before a great white screen. Behind the curtain was the mysterious triptamatic stage design. It sat quietly, patiently awaiting its chance to blow feeble minds.
The wait wasn't long, and ten after 11 p.m., the covering tumbled down to reveal the much-hyped uber-booth, upon which all manner of unearthly and mystical scenes would be projected. In the cockpit of this interspatial pyramid stood the captain, a large feather in his hat, primed to take his followers on a journey of esoteric proportions.
The music came through the speakers low and deep, full of twinkling sounds and building in intensity as the structure flooded with gold light. Hints of Nile noises came through as the thing took the guise of an Egyptian pharaoh's tomb.
Dancers got caught up in the rhythm as the music got louder, bassier, and more commanding. The place was full of jesters and gyrating gypsy chicks. The place was teeming with bobbing dreadlocked heads, and most of them wouldn't stop for the next two hours.
Even beyond the mental trip some partiers were undoubtedly on, a Shpongle live set delivers some sonic travels of its own. With influences spanning all corners of the globe, the set incorporated flavors of everything from Middle Eastern, to Spanish and Indian traditions. At times, the beat was so tribal it made all the hippie kids do the whirling dervish.
Not once would the visuals cease to astound. Whether lit up in brightly colored blocks, celestial swirls, neural explosions, or simply black and white geometric shapes, this shit was impressive to behold. Shpongle knows their audience appreciates their going the extra mile to make their trip the total package, and that's why they do it.
It's because they apply this over-the-top production to every angle of their performance that the Revolution could pull so many heads in the middle of the week.
"Ft Lauderdale, thank you," Posford said into the mic. "Look at all these beautiful people coming out on a Tuesday night. I can only think that you're all serious fans of Shpongle, or you're all very unemployed."
He told the crowd that their time together was coming to an end and left them with the echoing message "stay Shpongle." "Shpongle" being an umbrella term for feeling positive and euphoric emotions, according to the artists.
But it was kind of a tease, because Posford stuck around to do a couple more jams before sending the masqueraded maniacs back out into the world. Hopefully they were ready for the streetlights after that spiritual epic. Sometimes, adjusting to the mundane can be tricky, but like the man said, you just gotta stay shpongle.