With opening acts, stage props, and ridiculous music in tow, Infected Mushroom arrived at Terminal 5 in New York with quite a lot of hype for their The Unveiling tour, a huge series of live shows surrounding the release of their most recent studio album, Army Of Mushrooms. The reputation of the Israeli duo precedes them, of course; psytrance is still the foundation of their music, but their energetic live rock acts and cross-genre experimentation is what has given them longevity and runaway worldwide success in the past decade.
Terminal 5 is an interesting hybrid concert/club venue with a dizzyingly high open space that cuts through four levels, all of which overlook the main dancefloor. The first opener of the night was J.Viewz, an electronic music act headed by Brooklyn-based producer Jonathan Dagan that’s had a couple of notable collaborations with Infected Mushroom, who remixed the J.Viewz track Muse Breaks for their 2004 album IM The Supervisor. Their live performance was an interesting mix of live instrumentation, including a guest vocalist and drummer, with a fair amount of pre-programmed loops and samples used with a keyboard and a nearby laptop.
Next up was a DJ set from Los Angeles-based Randy Seidman, who frequently tours with and opens for Infected Mushroom. Where J.Viewz were a nod to the live instrumentals that IM are fond of incorporating into their act, Randy was a more traditional DJ who brought the vibe from experimental indie rock pub show to afterhours club night. His set, which included such hits as Betsie Larkin’s track with Sied van Riel, The Offering, leaned towards progressive trance; the contrast between the two opening acts was an interesting choice, but a fitting one when you consider that Infected Mushroom is one of the only electronic music acts to straddle the genres that it does.
When Infected Mushroom finally took to the stage, in two Daft Punk-esque elevated pods that were several feet off the ground and fitted against the back wall of the stage, the floor was packed to bursting and the crowd’s energy was at a fever pitch. Israeli flags were being waved frantically on all sides, showing support for IM’s country of origin. Unlike prior gigs where they’ve played with a full supporting band, their first set of the night consisted of just the two core members—Duvdev and Eisen—each manning a set of equipment in their own pod. Duvdev occasionally descended to provide live vocals; their cover of The Foo Fighters’ The Pretender had the crowd roaring. The set oscillated back and forth between rock and older psytrance tracks—evident in fan favorites Cities of the Future, Sa’eed, and Becoming Insane—and the unavoidable influences of electro and dubstep, which have managed to ensnare even this duo in their recent work.
Everything changed when, after an acoustic version of older track Converting Vegetarians, Infected Mushroom launched into what was billed on the lineup as an “old-school DJ set”—where the stage setup cleared, the pods disappeared, and the duo took the stage with nothing but a set of decks and a lot of 145-bpm-and-above psytrance. It was an interesting way to cater to longtime fans while still adapting to the changing styles of EDM today—and if this show was any indication, it’s a balance that’s working for them.