When I first heard about the Mouth Taped Shut show in Chicago, I was surprised that tickets were going for free. All it took was a simple RSVP online. The lines were minimal to none and people were still picking up their tickets at the box office even after the show had already begun. I suppose the fact that it was 19 degrees outside made everyone move just a little bit faster. The shows were to promote the new soundtrack Mouth Taped Shut, for the upcoming film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
There was a pretty substantial crowd when we arrived. The Congress Theater can hold an audience of about four thousand and although the venue was not nearly full, a pretty hefty amount of people had come. Not bad at all, considering tickets were free. James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem played a great set. The crowd was loving every second. I never thought I’d describe something like this, but it was chill and poppin’. There I said it. He played around with catchy and melodic tunes with just the right amount of bass. He spun a lot of mid-tempo, vocal-heavy House tracks. It was interesting how low-key James Murphy was. There were lights during his performance, but none of them ever landed on him. There was no spotlight on James Murphy. It was humble of him to have his face in the dark with only subtle lighting overhead. It made the audience really focus on the music and on the feel of the environment. That was a unique display from a DJ. The show was also enjoyable because the crowd wasn’t extremely packed. There was space to move around, dance, and not get shoved around by grumpy people who just wanted to see the DJ. He kept the atmosphere cool with the occasional vocals, a sweet drum solo, and a psychedelic disco feel.
Sebastian Ingrosso upped the hype. He pumped up the crowd with surge of electro-House, like remixes of Martin Solveig’s Hello, David Puentez’s Let’s Go, and Bassjacker’s Mush Mush. It seemed as if almost as soon as he stepped on the stage, the dance floor became crowded with people. He did not fail to amaze. His build ups were very strong and he had an impressive set up of four CDJs positioned before him. His set was so wild that photographers were not allowed to stand in the photo pit because Ingrosso was shooting out bursts of CO2 gas. The gas shot out for almost all of his amazing bass-filled and crazy drops. He definitely went along with some of the most popular electronic songs of the year, including Levels by Avicii, Cinema by Skrillex, and then some Pretty Lights and even Etta James’s smoky soft blues vocals. With a set list that even had Dubstep songs, he skillfully improvised and remastered them with synth filled House drops.
It wasn’t until we were getting ready to leave that we came upon a stand of Mouth Taped Shut shirts and posters. Instead of being sold, they were being given away really, but for donations of any kind. Donations for what? Alas, the real connection between Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and HARD’s Mouth Taped Shut shows had been discovered. It’s not only to campaign for the soundtrack. The novel’s character, Lisbeth Salander, is known to have been subjected to notoriously heinous crimes throughout her life in Sweden. Lisbeth is the battered victim of a traumatic childhood and countless sexual assaults. Mouth Taped Shut may have been free, but the donations that were taken at the event were to support battered women and children who suffered from the abuses of domestic violence and more. The words, Mouth Taped Shut, literally represent all of those who cannot speak up for themselves. This event wasn’t just about seeing top-notch DJs and listening to great electronic music, it was about becoming a voice, becoming aware, and becoming a supporting role in the defense of these women and children.
Check out the Mouth Taped Shut blog.
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