Checking In With: Boys Noize in Chicago @ House of Blue + [Show Review]

Saturday December 8th’s Boys Noize show in Chicago marked my first time out to the local House of Blues. The three-floored venue boasts two tiers of balcony room and opera boxes, with multiple bars on each level. As a medium sized concert hall, the House of Blues is large enough to support a name as sizeable as Berlin’s Boys Noize, yet still permeates a sense of intimacy.

Next up was DJEDJOTRONIC with Le1f rapping. I went into this set with high expectations that, unfortunately, were not met. DJEDJOTRONIC surprised me with trap as Le1f mumbled into the microphone. I am all for switching up sounds and styles at a show, it’s important to shake things up. However, execution was off. As a rapper, especially at a club night featuring electronic DJs, it’s Le1fs job to command the stage. Perhaps I’m biased seeing I never liked the style, but he just played around on stage, rekindling some of my dying memories of OFWGKTA.

During the first two sets I was lucky enough to hop backstage to connect with the man himself: Boys Noize. While I did not conduct an official interview (check that out here) much of what we chatted about is likely to be of interest to any Boys Noize or BNR fans.

I’ve seen you preform on CDJs before, but I can’t wait for this live show, what are you using to perform?

I’ll be using a combination of hardware and Ableton for software.

Will you only be playing the new album, Out of The Black, or older stuff as well?

Oh everything man. Some new stuff, but also the classics.

I heard the visuals to couple the audio are amazing.

Yeah, we have a whole separate server-tower powering those. I’ve lined up a lot of great imagery with my music.

Where did the skull that you DJ on come from?

Siriusmo made it out of clay. That guy can model anything. He’s a big street artist, and just does music on the side.

Speaking of which, I’m super into your music, but also other artists on Boysnoize Records. You’ve got some amazing musicians on there. Suriusmo is just one of many.

We really do have a great group.

I can’t believe SCNTST is so young.

Yeah, that kid is still in high school. I don’t think he ever does any homework, but sure as hell works on music all the time.

Any exciting releases on the way for BNR? What track did Chemical Brothers remix for you?

The Chemical Brothers remix of XTC will be Boynoize Records’ 100th release.

Holy shit! What are you at, high 80s, low 90s?

Somewhere around there.

I’ll be counting down for sure! Thanks for hanging out before the show, I can’t wait to see you do your thing.

Needless to say, that release is big shit, but I imagine we won’t stop talking about it once we hear it, so I’ll save the ranting for then, and get back to the show.

When it comes to electronic music, it is always easy to delineate between two types of performers. A lot of acts produce popular club music, and throw great parties. Others are truly musicians. They have philosophies and inspirations behind the sounds they create. The artisanship behind Boys Noize live performances, audio and visual combined, clearly places him in the second group.

I knew Boy Noize’s live show would be nothing besides spectacular, and he certainly did not disappoint. I loved seeing the creative blends and mixes of new tunes from Out of the Black, with classics like Yeah. Because I had high expectations with audio, what really impressed me was the visuals that coupled the music.

Sitting behind his huge dark skull, AKA DJ booth, was a full LED wall. Vertical shining columns and other lights surrounding the stage complimented the scene. Everything from the text representing audio samples in his tracks to abstract imagery emanated from behind Boys Noize as he made the club jump around. I’m more than sick of bombastic lighting setups, designed to make the maximum quantity of neurons shoot off as you dance. This setup certainly is not that. I do not mean to say it was under stocked, but simply that the artisanship was clear.

My final compliment to Boys Noize for the breathtaking show is his ability to interact with the crowd. At points he hid behind his booth, only hands raised egging on the crowd. At other times, he locked gazes with the crowd, challenging them to connect with the music.

If you’re on the west coast, make sure to catch one of the remaining stops listed below.

12/12 – Vancouver, BC @ Venue
12/14 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theatre * w/ Strip Steve
12/15 – Los Angeles, CA @ Palladium * w/ Le1f, UZ, Strip Steve, Destructo
12/16 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues 
* w/ Strip Steve, Destructo
12/17 – El Paso, TX @ Buchanan’s