I originally registered plainly as Jon², but, sometime between when I registered and now, that ‘Â’ sneaked its way in.
I’ll be working on the video over the next few days and have it on YT in 720p. If you really want a hard copy that isn’t split with fades at each track or just want 1080p, we can work out a trade.
Also, here’s a TL;DR about the entire experience I wrote on the flight home while everything was still relatively fresh in mind should you care for an expanded version of what I’ve already mentioned.
Arriving at the venue about half an hour before doors opened I was surprised to find myself among the very first people in line. Inside, the Fox Theatre is absolutely beautiful. Lighting was perfect for the evening; floods of purple and teal with streaks of gold adorned the fractal-y suggestive ceiling. Perfect for setting the mood for what was to come later on.
Outersect began shortly after taking my seat, and the venue remained largely vacant. Outersect’s set was very good and the stage lighting created a very relaxing atmosphere. The projectors also displayed mandala-like patterns against the stage curtain, evoking very emotional, good memories. Lynx came out a few minutes after Outersect finished and played to a somewhat more full venue. Her music was enjoyable although not psy-anything in any form.
After Lynx left the final touches to the stage for Shpongle were set up, requiring the curtain to be parted a small amount which elicited quite a few cheers and screams for the inevitable. Two wicker structures with distorted geometry were brought out and set on either side of the stage; something new that let us know we weren’t in for a ‘standard’ Shpongle concert.
Not long after the curtains had been closed again, Raja Ram stuck his masked head out and beckoned us to come to Shpongleland before the curtains were entirely withdrawn. The band came out to much ecstatic cheering and started us off with ‘Ineffable Mysteries’. Immediately I noticed that Joe Russo’s drumming had vastly improved from his first appearance with Shpongle at this year’s Camp Bisco X, and in fact, I was continually impressed by his work.
The costumes worn by the band were very cool. The two I noticed most were Simon’s, because he finally put something else on besides his puffy shirt and fedora, and Michelle’s highly UV reactive clothing that lead me to refer to her as Candy Girl throughout the night. The dancers from Black Kat Kabaret were a mildly unexpected addition to the show, as I had understood them to be one of the openers, but I stood corrected. Their choreographed pieces and costumes to go along with Shpongle’s music was a nice touch. And don’t let me forget the Go-Go dancers, who indeed came on stage for Beija Flor and Tea Daze.
The music itself was absolutely amazing for me to finally hear live. I had decided against attending any of Simon’s Shpongletron DJ sets that had been brought to Illinois over the past few years, and I’m glad I did. Shpongle is itself, but a DJ set cannot possibly compare to the band, and finally experiencing Shpongle, I have no doubt, was made all the sweeter by abstaining from them.
An amazing set was performed for nearly two and one half hours for those of us lucky enough to be there from the start, and a great one it was. Museum of Consciousness made its second live appearance at this show, and it’s a curiously dark-sounding track, but not entirely unlike the work from ‘Ineffable Mysteries’. It makes me eager for Shpongle 5 not only to hear the rest of the work, but also so that I might see Shpongle again, whether here or abroad.
The crowd’s cheering throughout was incredible in its own right, and I hope that the enthusiasm has let the band know that they are not only unconditionally welcome any time, but that they need to be here more often. On another note from the crowd, although I knew that weed would be smoked abundantly, and that some would bring LSD, psilocybe mushrooms, and even a bit of DMT for the obvious, but I didn’t quite expect the smoalking to begin at Ineffable Mysteries, the very beginning of the set. Despite that, I’ll say that the scent was rather nice as it usually is from Dimitri, although quite a few times I could smell it burning. That’s what you get if you don’t want to try sneaking in a GVG. The scents of MJ and DiMiTri traded places for approximately half of the show before settling on that which is distinctly mothball-esque.
Filming was excellent, although I had a slight problem for a little while with silhouetted heads, being behind one row of people. I took care of the issue by moving up to the railing after half an hour or so seeing as seating reservations weren’t high on anyone’s priorities. Near the end of the set, an anonymous Shpongle Gal leaned in to my right ear, without indicating her presence by sound or touch, and told me that I ‘..have spectacular zoom.’ I looked around briefly but didn’t see any obvious contenders. I was and still am at a loss as to who you are. I would have at least liked to see you. Perhaps by a stroke of coincidence you’ll observe these notes and/or the video which contains audio with your statement on record and give a shout.
Overall, this was an incredible show, easily the best I have attended. I look very happily toward the next time Simon, Raj and the gang return, or at least toward the next time I will see them.