It was a dark and stormy night…
Okay, it wasn’t – I just thought that would make a better introduction than the usual post-Oppikoppi ramblings, which I’m certain that many of my peers will be using in abundance in their respective features.
In fact, if Just Music’s Karl Anderson hadn’t mentioned Oppikoppi before Robert DeLong’s Just Music Sessions set, you would’ve never even thought of it – especially, considering the decent turnout (and very few “boets”; yay!) for a post-Oppi event (the World of Yamaha’s auditorium was nearly at full capacity).
Many diehard fans had their war-paint on (courtesy of two ladies who provided RDL styled face-painting at the entrance) and were impatiently eyeing the stage, ready to get lost in the sounds of one of the hottest, rising stars in EDM today. And since there was no opening act on the evening, they didn’t have to wait too long.
The lights dimmed – but Batman didn’t strike from the shadows and beat up some punk for trying to film everything on his iPhone – instead, a skinny 27-year-old kid casually walked on stage, to a multi-coloured, flashing lights backdrop, and kicked off the party with a slow, steady beat and a couple of nifty vocal tricks. The heads gently bobbed and feet shuffled awkwardly, a little bit unaware and unsure of what to do, until RDL hit a wicked bass drop that would’ve made Skrillex proud.
Then onwards, the tempo picked up, and RDL demonstrated what he’s all about, as he mixed and matched his indie vocal style with electronica, dubstep, moombahton, and drum & bass. Everyone had heard of how he utilises video game controllers in his live sets, but to actually see him switch from manning the decks to controlling his vocal pitch with a Wii controller is truly remarkable. Showmanship aside, one of my absolute highlights was seeing him assassinate the onstage drums in a live DnB segment, which, for me, was reminiscent of the now legendary Dieselboy set at Carfax in 2008.
While the crowd lapped up every controller effect, bass drop, snare hit, and synth line, the auditorium truly exploded when RDL asked his famous question, “Did I make you f**king dance?” from his hit track “Global Concepts.” After that, the inevitable answer was yes, and there was no turning back as the party vibe went full-throttle all the way to the end.
Drenched in sweat, after a powerful and energetic set, RDL didn’t just evacuate the building and call it a night. Instead, he went to the merch table, signed items (and people) and posed for photographs with his fans. By the time that I left, which was a good hour or so after his set, RDL was still standing around and chatting to people. His conduct is a good example that many local musicians can learn from – so, don’t just bugger off after your performance, or head to the bar and ignore your fans.
Also, on a separate note, it was great to see the Just Music family supporting each other – I spotted Tailor, Matthew Mole, and members from Shadowclub and Flash Republic in attendance and supporting the event, even though there was nothing at stake for them (another lesson for all those caught up in scene politics and behaving like bitchy desperate housewives).
All images by Justin Lee Photography.[flagallery gid=6 name=Gallery]
Robert Delong Details