Having caught Simian Mobile Disco many moons ago at HARD Weekend LA with fellow LAmb writer Tim Wut, I thought I had a fairly solid grasp on what to expect when I wound up at their show at the Fonda on November 30th. The operative phrase here is “thought I had.” Whereas that first set of theirs had featured honeycomb light fixtures and dancey grooves that had the hipster/raver hybrid crowd that typically frequents HARD events bouncing around gleefully, their show at the Fonda was markedly more minimal in both tone and staging.
Given that Simian Mobile Disco clearly took a more minimalistic approach when making their latest release, Unpatterns, I really shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was to find that the corresponding live set was in the same vein. However, despite the tonal departure of that most recent effort, I still went into Simian Mobile Disco’s show at the Fonda expecting something akin to that first, uber-danceable performance of theirs I had caught, if only because that tends to be the general MO of electronic artists. What I got was a complex, moody set that featured their latest album quite prominently and was punctuated by the occasional glow of blue lighting; it didn’t exactly meet or exceed my expectations so much as it did revise them.
Let me preface this by stating that I was absolutely enamored with Simian Mobile Disco’s latest release — “Your Love Ain’t Fair” and “Cerulean” in particular resonated deliciously well with me — but given the Friday-night-at-a-Hollywood-club setting, I must admit that a catchier set would have been more to my liking. Still, I ended up leaving with something substantially more thought-provoking, so I suppose I can’t complain. When all is said and done, I’d be hard-pressed to call Simian Mobile Disco a one-trick pony, and for that I respect them.
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