Justice - The Mayan Theatre, Los Angeles
Tue, 01 Apr 2008 07:21:24
At any second during Justice's sold out Los Angeles show, it felt as if Rob Halford from Judas Priest might glide across the stage on a Harley, screaming for vengeance. However, it never happened. What did happen on stage was one of the best "non-metal," metal shows that downtown LA seen since the raucous HARD NYE festival. In fact, Justice have officially made electronic music "metal." No they don't bust out screeching, chromatic guitar leads or drop double bass everywhere. Rather they adopt the epic bombast of early Metallica and Iron Maiden, throw in some catchy synths and seductive keyboards, and all of a sudden, spark a movement. If that huge cross in the middle of the stage doesn't remind you of Master of Puppets then you're just not "metal" enough!
It was evident from the packed house, on a Monday night, that Justice have brought electronica to the forefront of pop culture. The crowd wasn't just made up of the hipster crowd that initially embraced Justice, but rather the floor was absolutely littered with high school kids pumped to dance and have a good time. The band kicked off the hour-plus set with "Genesis," the opener of their debut album Cross. As soon as they slowly hit the stage, the cross lit up, and their shadows took a God-like presence on the wall behind them. From there on out, it was on.
An extra long version of their hit single, "D.A.N.C.E.," ignited the floor. There were even a few guys moshing, while gleefully jumping up and down and picking up tiny crowd surfers. "The Party" slowed everything down and allowed for some snakey synth improvisation as the lights got crazier and spacier. Meanwhile, "Waters of Nazareth" felt like an impending flood, complete with crazy blue laser lights.
"One Minute to Midnight" is ripped straight from Bruce Dickinson's [Iron Maiden, Vocalist] notebook, but none of the crowd's teens or hipsters necessarily knew that or cared. Energy was at a fever pitch all night, and Justice did not disappoint. They bring the songs to life with a fervent reverence for all things electronic and a willingness to break the rules. From the stacks of Marshall Amps to the huge cross, this was as "metal" as it gets. Who said club kids aren't tough?
A MySpace sponsored tour, Diplo also brought the house down with a frenetic set, closing with M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." But one thing was clear at the end of the show, Electronic music is back with a vengeance, and Justice are the puppet masters.