Digitalism in Los Angeles
Digitalism has a Wizard of Oz thing going on with its live show. The German duo brought its live show in support of its second album, I Love You, Dude to the Music Box Tuesday December 13th. But the two’s floor-centric, beat-heavy tracks would have been better suited to that venue’s Friday dance party. What Jens Moelle and Ismail Tufekci, Digitalism, present as a live act is really nothing more than a glorified DJ set.
The two looked like they were cooking more than anything else as they twisted knobs with so much enthusiasm, one almost expected them to shout, “Bam,” Emeril-style at regular intervals. These magic knobs were purportedly the source of the bombastic sounds emanating from the stage, but who really knows where the perfectly executed noises were being generated. The two were joined by a live drummer who spent just as much time slapping drum pads as he did playing actual drums, once again bringing up the question of degree of “live-ness.”
All of this was in near darkness with a multi-colored, flashing LED light show distracting the audience from anything that was—or wasn’t, as the case may be—happening on stage. This was just as well since the band members weren’t doing anything to look at anyway. Occasionally, Moelle made his way to a microphone and belted out some lyrics that added a much needed dose of humanity to the overly digital—no pun intended—performance.
These interludes were reminiscent of early ‘90s club PAs when divas came onstage to sing their one giant hit. None of this was fazing the audience whose arms were in the air from the start to the end. Standout numbers “2 Hearts” from I Love You, Dude and the enduring stormer, “Home Zone,” from their debut, Idealism had a large majority of the attendees watching the show through their phones.
The sound, which was admittedly note-perfect, was all the heaving crowd needed to keep going. For the extensive encore, Digitalism returned with superior nausea-inducing bass ushering the frenzied “Circles.” The crowd left pogo-ing all the way home.
Written By: Lily Moayeri