DFA After Party ft. James Murphy & Pat Mahoney @ The Metro Theatre, Sydney (10/03/2012)
Mon 19th Mar, 2012 Event Reviews 370 viewsin
When the announcement of the DFA after party was first made, I immediately snagged a ticket – not having gone to Future Music Festival, I was desperate to catch a glimpse of what I thought to be some of the finest indie DJ’s on this year’s line-up. Even the chance to catch a glimpse of the legendary ex-LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy was enough to cause quite a bit of anticipation for the gig. But sadly, as much as I wanted the night to be as epic as I’d imagined, it fell short.
That’s not to say that there wasn’t moments of brilliance, even splurges of greatness – the live set of Benoit & Sergio certainly hit peaks, but for most of the night the after party felt way too…after. Almost as if the party had truly been spent on Future Music Festival and what the Metro instead received was tired and simplistic ‘get the job done’ DJing.
Slowblow were first to take stage warming up the crowd with a mix of disco, house and electro. Smooth mixing and decent track selection saw the vibe build slightly, but it was the sadly lacking presence and energy in the duo’s performance that somewhat dampened what otherwise was a very enthusiastic and warm audience. Regardless, the set maintained a healthy beat, eventually mixing into The Juan Maclean’s set. It was Maclean’s set that began to build the tempo, yet in terms of stage presence, his performance seemed loose and unengaging. I hate to seem harsh towards the aforementioned acts as they are primarily not DJs by profession, but I couldn’t help feeling this didn’t excuse what appeared to be a lack of effort.
March 10th, 2012
Still, some great tracks managed to keep the vibe up and the audience dancing as the venue filled for the main attraction, James Murphy and Pat Mahoney’s set. A lack of theatrics was no surprise as both slid in behind the decks and began the set, seamlessly mixing into the minimal house of The Juan Maclean’s last selection. Although I expected a jump in tempo or even in variety of track, none came; at least not until late in their set. It was the seemingly endless looped mix-ins and arduously similar tracks that caused most of the set to sound stale and disappointing.
Yet it was an awkward dropout into a drum solo I sadly couldn’t place which signalled a changeup that would display the pair’s capabilities behind the decks. The closing half hour seemed genuinely closer to what I had anticipated with even Muphy and Mahoney seemingly enjoying themselves, a change from the straight-faced bobbing of the preceding hours. Sadly, this small section left me wanting more. As Murphy said farewell over his mic to the now thinning audience, the music faded to the beginning of Benoit & Sergio’s set.
The duo began with new material mixing into their next with ease and although the two were performing live rather than DJing, I couldn’t help compare the change in energy, presence and enthusiasm. It was their unique blend of house and techno that drew the night to a brilliant close as I sadly missed Softwar.
As much as the night suffered from flaws, it was nonetheless a pleasant gig. While not a memorable night or even close to my anticipation, it was still enjoyable. Perhaps I set the bar a little high for the DFA after party – but being a longtime fan of the New York label, it was difficult not to expect just a little more than what was on display last night.