Thanks to his latest album release Out of the Black and his collaboration with Skrillex on Dog Blood I've been really excited to see Boys Noize live in Montreal for some time. Alex Ridha (The man behind Boys Noize) is using his North American tour to not only entertain but also to educate newer fans that there is "a bit more depth to electronic music." Through my recent attendance of the Sonar Festival in Toronto, CNTRL: Beyond EDM in Montreal, I'm in support of Boys Noize's sentiment and was more than ready to hear something new.
The real education started with Boys Noize opener Djedjotronic (aka Jeremy Cottereau). who is a seasoned DJ/producer from France, and laid down a very impressive opening set. Djedjotronic's set was a mishmash of some banging techno and tech house that really set the tone for the whole evening. For those in the crowd that wanted to dance (and there were plenty) they tended to stay at the sides of the dance floor to ensure that they had enough space to move. One of the highlights was hearing Green Velvet & Harvard Bass' 'Lazer Beams', a track I first heard played by Maceo Plex in a live set seen from Be-At.TV, but hearing it live on a great sound system really took the track to the next level.
Djedjotronic's set turned out to be a real crowd pleaser as fans showed their appreciation for the hard hitting tracks played whenever Jeremy looked to the crowd. I had no pre-conceived expectations of Djedjotronic before the show but now I will be paying close attention as I believe he gave the Montreal crowd a flawless DJ set.
The first track played Boys Noize was 'What You Want' (which is also the first track on Boys Noize latest album Out of the Black) was a perfect introduction that showcases the hard hitting electro sound that Boys Noize is famous for.
This tour was Boys Noize's first live show where he features only his music for the entire set. According to Alex himself: "the new show I have the possibility of changing my songs the way I want them. I have every song stripped down to every element and I can have way more fun with my songs. It’s a lot more fun playing my own music now because I can now alter it so much more." I certainly noticed at times during his set that he was clearly manipulating his own tracks as he saw fit by sometimes slowing down tracks, or emphasizing certain individual elements over others which brought a more creative aspect to his live show.
Hearing Boys Noize tracks live on a good sound system was an incredible experience. My three stand out tracks from his set were 'XTC', '& Down', and 'Frau'. 'XTC' has a great groove that set the tone reminding us that this is simply not a live show but actually a party to which everyone was invited. The track '& Down' (released back in 2007 as part of the album Oi Oi Oi) sounds just as fresh today as it did 5 years ago. Put that track in any modern set list today and I bet crowds would still dig it. This was certainly the case in Montreal that night as the crowd ate it up and were left wanting for more. The track 'Frau' offered a completely different kind of experience as the sound was so heavy at times that the walls of the New City Gas were literally shaking. 'Frau' was put on so loud that it actually rendered my earplugs semi-useless. It was an all out attack on your senses and I loved every minute of it.
The visuals also added to the whole experience. The skull DJ Booth shot out red light from the eyes was fun and reminded me of Skeletor from He-Man. There were a few video screens that showed off some great minimal visuals that did not distract from the performance but rather added to the whole mood and flavour of the show.
From the music selection, visuals, to the incredible venue and overall vibe from the crowd made this night in Montreal a very special experience to those that were in attendance. Overall, Boys Noize (+ Djedjotronic) put on a top notch show that I will remember for a long time to come.