Boys Noize “Out of the Black” North American Tour – Stop 1 Review

This past Friday night, German techno/acid house god Boys Noize, blessed NYC’s Roseland Ballroom with his presence for the first stop of his highly anticipated “Out of the Black” NA Tour. Accompanying him were the usual cast of characters, label mates Djedjotronic and Spank Rock, with the addition of Mad Decent trap sensation UZ. As Trap-style is becoming more and more prevalent in the EDM scene the crowd was very receptive to the booming bass of UZ’s set. Spank Rock was up next and performed one of the most bizarre sets I have ever seen. While some his tracks are produced by BN himself, the hip-hop driven performance seemed incredibly out of place.

As the stage crew broke down the table and set up Boys’ new Skull DJ platform, he left the crowd salivating for his trademark sound. He finally came to the stage delivering with the first track from his album “What You Want” as the crowd erupted in cheers. In the previews of his new stage from European performances, I was very underwhelmed by what I had seen, much like his new album. While Out of the Black is critically acclaimed, it simply did not resonate with me as much as previous outings in Oi, Oi, Oi and Power. This was, until attending last Friday’s show. OotB is truly a live production, and in mixing his old fan favorites like “Jeffer” and “Kontact Me”, he always kept the crowd on its toes. Alex Ridha’s gritty, heavy sound kept us moving at an energy level one might expect to find at a heavy metal concert. The large Skull’s bright red eyes had us all entranced late into the evening. In a Rolling Stone interview from earlier this year, Ridha complained that much of the electronic music today is “too generic.” His show embodies that very notion, far from the experience you would find at nearly any other artist’s performance on the scene today. Rather than playing out a hit and beat matching to the next tune, Noize cuts, fades and mixes parts of his tracks throughout the entire set. The most prevalent example of this during the show was the sample of his remix of Feist’s “My Moon My Man.” Never actually playing the beat that goes with the vocals, he first teases us with it laid over “Missle”, and then again before his notable outro. Playing the vocals one more time, he slows the beat to what seems like no less than 1/16th the pace, bringing the intense energy level to a grinding halt.

As the casual listeners-largely high schoolers at this all ages show-cleared out, it made room for one final bout of fanatical dancing as he dropped classic “& Down” while recalling samples from many of the tracks played earlier in the night. In case you had somehow forgotten any of the incredible moments of the show this served as a potent reminder. As one of the better live performances I have ever witnessed, this night will not soon be forgotten.

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