Before I went to this show, I already had the title in mind: Pop explosion in Heaven with Django Django! I would write that although they are the kings of cancelled shows, when they do show up, you are in for something remarkable. However, these words seemed too big after last night. I love this band, I truly do. I think their genre defying psych/pop/rock debut is absolutely brilliant. However, I won’t be able to say that their live performance matches the genius of their production. Not just yet.
First of all, Heaven, which should strictly operate on a club basis only, was a very bad choice as a live music venue. Certainly not the best option for this four-piece. It is basically a long and narrow hall with no slope and on sold-out nights like this, you are more concentrated on grasping for air than actually enjoying the music. At one point, I felt like I was in the vaults of Gringotts. There is quiet a distance between the band and the crowd (especially if you are watching from the back), which makes it hard for the two to connect.
These physical conditions did not ease up a shaky start. After a brief intro, Django Django opened their set with Hail Bop. As they went on and on, they still hadn’t spoken a word to the crowd and the magic was just not there. The crazy energy that poured from the record to your veins was not present on-stage. Yet, the crowd did not give up on them. After for more than half an hour, Vincent Neff finally decided to communicate with the fans and was received with a warm reaction of cheers.
I was watching the show with a good sound engineer/producer/musician friend and he was quiet surprised with how little they played live and how much they relied on the backing tracks. However, around Cairo, they started to come into their own. When they burst into Default right after, the fans went wild. The show reached a climax when they reloaded with Life’s a Beach and when Neff announced the last song, it was met with a disappointed boo. He laughed it away saying “sorry, we only have one album out” and delved into Wor.
Overall, Django Django were not bad. I can’t say they were brilliant either. There were the good bits and the bad bits. But I am really looking forward to watching them at a different venue, at a later date. I am sure it will be a much more pleasant experience than last night.