Last week I got to go see an act I’ve been waiting a long time to see. A few months ago, I praised him here on LessThan3 as being one of LA’s fastest-growing musicians. Jason Chung, aka Nosaj Thing, has been smashing up the underground experimental scene with a slew of soul-penetrating productions and a stunning visual show. This show was particularly unique because it was at a classier venue – El Rey Theatre. Not only that, but the crowd was quite different from the usual fist-pumping, light-showing adolescence that I’m used to. Almost everybody there was what I would call “hipster.” I know that term gets thrown around a lot today, but how else would you describe someone who dresses like…well, an Obey model? Sure enough, Obey was one of the tour’s major sponsors. Furthermore, the age range was huge! There were people from their teens all the way up to their sixties. I even saw the villain from Richie Rich there (yeah, that movie was from the 90s). Regardless, it was somewhat refreshing to be in such a mellow crowd that was more there to be appreciative of the music rather than to party.
The opening acts, Jogger and Toro y Moi, were cool to see perform. Although not exactly EDM, their mellow sounds coupled with colorful visuals were enjoyable. I would describe them as alternative rock infused with synthesizers. It wasn’t something I really expected, but again, it was nice to enjoy music outside of the EDM scene.
After a couple hours of rock and a few cigarette breaks, it was finally time for Nosaj Thing. A single image of his name projected against the wall whilst a heavenly voice proclaimed, “Nosaj Thing.” A simple intro to a skillful, not-so-simple performance. Nosaj came out with guns blazing. Utilizing only a laptop, a chaos pad, and a special midi analog controller, he created a haunting, yet energetic hour of audio bliss. He was able to make to make a room full of stoic hipsters wave their hands in the air and dance to his electronic beats. Some of them even held up lighters. The thing I admired so much about Nosaj was his ability to take his already-prepared productions and rework them on the spot into something totally new and unique. He switched it up constantly from mellow electronica, to hip hop-inspired drum loops, to blissful progressions of audio and synth samples. Not only was his performance spot-on, but his visual show was incredible (see a sample below). One minute you were being bombarded with a minimalist flow of white shapes, and the next you were sent off into outer space as stars whizzed past you.
All in all, the Nosaj Thing Visual Tour was an experience to say the least. It was a nice change of pace from the usual crazy electro shows that dominate mainstream EDM today. If you feel like going to see a performance that’s light on the fist-pumping, but big on the visuals, I highly recommend Nosaj Thing’s shows. You better hurry too, because he doesn’t tour as heavily as other DJs. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!