electro/DJ acts pass through Boulder and trends continue to build upon
themselves, it’s hard to tell who’s doing something different when each set
systematically pummels a venue with party bass. MSTRKRFT’s strength as a live act has always been
their ability to rock, in the Spinal Tap turned-up-to-11 kind of way.
Going to see
MSTRKRFT has always implied an ear-busting rock show that crowd surfs and
lights cigarettes on stage, more rock ‘n’ roll than electronic. But their live
sets also create a dance party, however loud and harsh it can be at times, and
it’s this fusion that has kept MSTRKRFT successful after critics refused to
support their second album, Fist
show at the Fox Theatre was no different, perhaps disappointingly so when
compared to their Denver/Boulder shows in the past. The most successful song
choices often involved other people’s work, though “Easy Love,” their first
single from their first record, and “Bounce,” their diamond in the rough from
the second album, put a lot of hands in the air. This is not a good sign for an
electronic act. It indicates a lack of confidence that their material will hold
itself up, a slap in the face considering the frenzy of hype built up for their
highly anticipated second album.
Then again, one
could also say they just know their strengths. MSTRKRFT has a dizzying catalog
of remixes, for starters, and the band crafted a more successful version of
“D.A.N.C.E.” than electro frontrunners Justice originally produced.
F. Keeler and Alex Puodziukas are smart musicians, and smart DJs as well: Of
course playing “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a cheap move, but it’s become such a
staple of their live set that it would almost be disappointing not to hear it.
After abandoning their slot at this summer’s Monolith Festival due to illness,
the Fox’s website mentioned the duo’s desire to bring back the Fist of God tour
for a second pass. But the show was clearly more focused on getting the crowd
moving than showcasing their latest release. It wasn’t a repeat of last year’s
tour by any means — no extravagant lighting rigs — the only similarity was the
sardine box of a dance pit at the Fox.
Both members were anxious to bring the
party back to Colorado, and they worked with ever-improving chemistry for a
crowd that was more than happy to see them in better health.