Last night, DJ Shadow celebrated the 21st anniversary of his first album, the very avant-garde Endtroducing…. - being a record composed almost exclusively of samples - a masterpiece of instrumental hip-hop dating from 1996.
To do so, he chose the grand yet intimate Roundhouse venue, but most of all, the perfect canvas to display an outstanding visual show. The concert was not only a release-anniversary celebration, it was above all a carrier celebration. Indeed, DJ Shadow started by announcing his retirement, and was therefore expecting the best from the crowd for the occasion.
That, unfortunately he didn't get. No jumping up and down as he requested from the stoic audience. On the other hand, he did offer quite a performance, possibly the best of 2017 so far, putting to shame lots of bands boasting numerous instruments and intricate arrangements. Armed with his turntables, laptop and electronic drum-kit, DJ Shadow didn't only live up to the standards of his productions, he also delivered an exceptional live performance, demonstrating a fair share of his righteously praised mixing and scratching skills.
The entire set was composed of old and new material - all released officially or not by himself under several different names - as well as remixes by countless other artists such as Daedelus and Cut Chemist. The performance was toped-up with some mind-blowing digital designs reflecting all around the venue. Half way through the gig, a see-through medium on which were displayed different visuals was pulled out in front of the stage, leaving the DJ performing in between two animated screens. The resulting 3D effect was simply astounding, offering as much delight for the eyes as for the ears.
Dj Shadow concluded his farewell gig with more recent and political material such as "Nobody Speak" featuring Run The Jewels, illustrated with matching visuals of course, including the powerful 'RESIST' word - a Roger Waters favourite - before finishing on more famous tracks like "The Number Song" and "Organ Donor", much to the anticipation and excitement of a formerly rather tired crowd.