Rated 5 out of
A Worthwhile Concert
Of course a Yank would be the first person to comment here.
I attended a Four Tet show last March at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York. It was a similar (albeit much smaller) setup – Mr. Hebden and his gear in the center, layers of crowd watching over his shoulders, and thousands of glowing balls hanging from the ceiling.
Let’s get this out of the way: Hebden is one of the most prolific artists in his genre, and his body of work has influenced countless others since the late 90s. His mastery of the technical side of electronic music gives him unparalleled control; in concert, Hebden dissects and reassembles his grooviest tracks to fit the pacing, to make the audience feel that every second of the show has a purpose. Hebden remained laser focused throughout his set in New York as he guided us through each track, but it didn’t make him any less of a true performer.
But the dazzling display by Squidsoup is what elevates this concert to the extraordinary. Cords reach down from the ceiling to your knees, punctuated every foot or so by a small plastic orb. The cords are inescapable – at the time, I got the impression of being tangled in a kelp forest. But as each song builds, pulses of light radiate through these tentacles, even flowing horizontally as if a fairy was zipping around overhead. In effect this setup instills intimacy, as Four Tet’s music is given a form that fills every inch of the room. Indeed, it was like witnessing a rebirth, the summoning of something extra dimensional that can only take place when the planets align.
It’s safe to say the experience was more immersive and engrossing than any club or concert I’ve ever been to. You might call it spiritual. Personally, I couldn’t stop smiling. Not through the intro, not when we were evacuated mid-show after the fire alarm tripped, not when we got back inside, and not through the climax. Couldn’t put away that dumb grin for a half second, even if you’d asked me to.
Thanks for reading, I’ll see you at the show in May.
Date published: 2018-11-02