Photos by Tim Dwenger
The Scene: Colfax was buzzing with the energy that only comes from the breaking of springtime weather. The L.A. Beat Scene trio The Glitch Mob was set to play back-to-back nights at the Fillmore Auditorium in support of their recent Billboard Top 40 album Love Death Immortality. Coming hot off the heels of the group’s biggest performance to date at Coachella last week, the Denver crowd was anxious to get their fill of The Glitch Mob’s signature synth laden sets. The group is touring with a new stage setup and has done a great job keeping the look and style of their new three man rig under wraps while touring throughout the US for the better part of two months. When I arrived to the Fillmore the opening acts had departed the stage and there was a lull in energy awaiting the unveiling of the stage setup which was lurking under a giant sheet.
The Glitch Mob: After a twenty minute break (a little too long in to sustain the crowd’s energy) the sheet had risen and The Glitch Mob members edIT, Ooah and Boreta manned their battle stations on the stage. Being my first time witnessing the group play live, I wondered what approach they would take to staying active on stage and display that to the audience. The new stage setup, which they’ve dubbed “the blade” did a wonderful job of expressing the work that goes into a live electronic set. All three musicians had touch screen pads tilted in the direction of the crowd, which lit up as they were played, lending a nice visual touch to the music being performed.
Behind the group was a set of what looked like industrially designed jet turbines that were wrapped in LED lights and mirrored the visuals being displayed on the large screen behind the group. At first glance the turbine blades looked like a nice piece of eye candy but proved to be an integral piece of the set as they acted as drum pads for The Glitch Mob to pound out their beats on throughout their hour and a half long set. The trio worked very hard on stage, constantly shifting roles and spent little time trying to engage the crowd in anything aside from their display of lights and dance music.
The set began with the anthemic and soaring track “Our Demons” off of the new album. The fast paced fluttering beat paved the way from the set break into what would be a nonstop dance affair. The vocals on the track provided by Aja Volkman, lead singer for alt-rock group Nico Vega, were an uplifting call to action for the crowd. The airy synth leads had plenty of space on top of the bass and beats to act as the tie between the sets varying tempos and moods. At a few points throughout the show I wondered if they were repeating a song before realizing that it was a subtle mixing tactic which gave the set a nice feel of cohesion.
After the intro songs off the new album were put to the test on the Fillmore’s sound system, the set’s energy took a turn in a more Hip-Hop and Glitch influenced direction. The Glitch Mob has the ability to mesh a wide variety of styles into their sets and I find myself attached to the less Pop-Synth based tunes that they play. A highlight of the night was their thumping remix of “Breathe” by The Prodigy. The set had a nice flow and increased in intensity until the point where the group left the stage for a momentary encore break. The post-encore section of the night was The Glitch Mob at their best, firing away with a mash-up of classic West Coast Hip-Hop before showcasing their softer side with new track “Beauty of the Unhidden Heart” again paired with female vocals. Saving their best known for last, the Mob sent us into the night with “We Can Make the World Stop.”
After a quick family photo with the crowd the set was over and left me wondering what they might have in store for Saturday night. The music was undoubtedly danceable and left my ears buzzing. My guess is that The Glitch Mob continued to escalate the energy for night two and proceed in their ascension of the Pop music ranks as this tour continues to move bouncing dance floor bodies throughout the country.
Stage Presence: A-
Set/Light Show: B+