photo: Carl Noone, Jr.
JUSTICE TAKE OVER MANHATTAN (AND THE WORLD)
by Carl Noone Jr.
In America, sell-out concerts, especially by live electronic acts, are ever increasingly rare, and the live music industry as a whole has definitely taken a big hit in recent years. But in the case of up-and-coming new musical gods, Justice, nothing could be farther from the truth, as their sold-out show at Terminal5 in Manhattan easily proved.
An ominous wall of Marshall Amplification (typical of Heavy Metal acts like Van Halen, et al) flanked either side of a large wall of wired synths, effects units, and other sampling techno gadgets as Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay manned the decks, and soon Justice’s impressive stage rig was revealed, much to the audience’s delight as a fury of flashes and camera phones began snapping. The build up for Augé and de Rosnay’s entrance felt eternal, but when the lights dropped, the signature cross lit up and the colossal intro to “Genesis” announced their arrival, and 2000 or so sweaty bodies went absolutely bonkers as soon as the track popped into its drunken robotic-like stupor.
'D.A.N.C.E.' began acapella, and surrounded the crowd with screaming vocals, before erupting into a over-the-top, over-processed, distorted bass blast to produce the best remix of a tune not yet committed to wax. The digitized vocals of Mr. Oizo's 'Nazis' added even more menace to the brutally noisy 'Stress'. 'Phantom' and 'Waters of Nazareth' got fists pumping and asses were shaking like I have never seen before. And what Justice performance would be complete without an over the top version of 'We Are Your Friends' with which to scream along? It was the one-two punch of their Simian collaboration, and “Waters of Nazareth,” that earned the biggest response, igniting a warm, communal sing-along.
Augé and de Rosnay seemed to enjoy themselves between moments of intense concentration - the former was more likely to directly engage the audience, as the latter was busy chain-smoking and head-bobbing.
Their set ended rather hastily, which had fans drooling for more and chanting for their heroes' return. And in New York City, you don't deny your audience an encore, so the two strolled back to their rig for their rendition of Soulwax's hit 'NY Excuse'. Not shy on displaying the overdriven synth riffs and the battering beats of their † album, they also kept the surprises coming, mixing in Klaxons and their slaying remix of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”, hacked-up to include only the influential intro for a full-fledged metal assault. If there was any doubt that Augé and de Rosnay knew how to read their audience, it was quieted by the crowd's roar of appreciation.
- article by Carl Noone, Jr.
photo: Carl Noone, Jr.