Royksopp in DC/intergalactic laziness

Before I begin, I wanted to apologize for not updating this thing in a while. Laziness and work-related stuff really took the forefront the past couple of weeks (even months), so I haven’t had a lot of time or willpower to keep this thing up to date. However, I’m back, and here’s what’s been going on.

Two weeks ago, I went to go to see Royksopp, one of my favorite bands in the world, at the 9:30 Club in Washington, and the concert was a rather special one. As it turns out, Royksopp rarely makes trips to perform in the United States, given that they’re mostly a European band. In fact, the was the first time they would ever come to Washington, and with tickets just $25 each, it was almost a steal for what the show was worth. Of course, many of you are probably beckoning the question that’s like an elephant in the room: who is Royksopp?

Well, Royksopp is a duo from the great country of Norway that specializes in electronic music. I first discovered them from a video game (“Poor Leno” was in SSX 3), I really liked their sound, and then I found their CD Melody A.M. and just fell in love with it. For my musical taste, these guys just can’t write a bad song, and that’s why I hold them as one of my five favorite bands (the others being The Beatles, Jamiroquai, Linkin Park, and Phoenix). Their prevailing, laid-back sound is something that I really got attached to when I was making a bunch of changes in my life, and their art direction is incredible as well. In fact, they’ve even won the award for Best Video at the 2002 MTV Europe VMAs.

But why the hell hasn’t anyone heard of them in the US? I mean, they’re signed under Astralwerks, a New York-based company, who boasts name talent such as Kylie Minogue, Fatboy Slim, David Guetta, The Chemical Brothers, Phoenix, and even the B-52’s. But the truth is, they’re actually everywhere in America, right under our noses, and yet they still stay undetected for those who don’t know them. Their song “Remind Me” (whose remix was actually the song featured in the video that won the 2002 VMA), is heard in the background of more recent Geico commercials with the cavemen in them. Their song “Eple” was actually the song playing in the background of the installation screen for Mac OS X Panther if you got a computer around 2003. “Only this Moment” was even in a Lindsay Lohan movie, but I think that might justify the reason that Americans haven’t heard them =P But in any event, it was a really special night to be able to see them, especially after last month, where the concert that Linkin Park was supposed to have in DC was cancelled due to Chester being ill and under doctor’s orders not to perform. So, because of this, I hadn’t been to a concert in a while.

When I got to the 9:30 Club, it was pouring outside, and I hadn’t happened to have brought an umbrella. The line was long – much longer than I had expected it to be, but then again, it was my first time at the 9:30 Club, so I wasn’t sure if that was just how 9:30 Club was. After finally getting inside, the atmosphere was really intoxicating from the start: the blue lights, the backlit bars, the stage, standing room only, and I was loving the energy it gave off.

Since I’m 5’5, I decided to head for the balcony to watch the show, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to see anything if I was on the floor. Much to my chagrin, however, the people on the balcony were also tall, but I found a way to see over them all. After a bit of impatience, the opening act came on. His name was Jon Hopkins, an English musician, and he was a really good electronic performer. A lot of his quick jumps and handiwork were really great to hear, but there was one thing that I’m sure some people were bothered by: the amount of bass that he was using was UNREAL. Literally, the clothes I was wearing were shaking because of all the bass that he was using. In fact, I thought I developed an unnatural heart rhythm because of it. The couple that was standing next to me wasn’t ready for it, so they were plugging their ears for most of the act. (Of course, in spite of this, I still downloaded his album after the show =P)

Then after the opening act was done with his setlist, there was another intermission. Royksopp was due to start at 11, but when 11:05 came around, the crowd started getting really pumped up and anxious. At this point, I was growing impatient. It’s worth mentioning that I was at the 9:30 Club alone – most of my friends were either busy studying or on spring break in warmer climates. It was a really strange feeling being there alone, but the people there were really down-to-earth about everything. I talked with a couple of people about the band, and everyone had the same mutual respect for them, and when the show started, there were no strangers. We were all there because we love this band, and even if you were there alone like me, you tended to forget about it.

Then, the lights finally cut out, and Royksopp started with a ton of energy, playing their upbeat hits and really got the crowd going. One thing I didn’t know about Royksopp: those dudes are really freaking BIG. Like, the blond guy in the duo stood about 6’6-6’7, and the other guy was about 6’1 himself. It was even crazier to imagine how large the blond dude was when he put on this gigantic bear suit later in the act for the song Poor Leno (I think I had a picture of it, but you can’t really tell he’s wearing it).

Another interesting point: a lot of the time, Royksopp likes to collaborate with other European acts to put out songs, and with each of the songs that they had that night, all of the associated acts were there in person. So literally, there were about 7-8 different recording artists that were with the band, so it was an incredible variety of European talent gracing the stage, and it was awesome that they were all able to come out. That may also be another explanation as to why Royksopp hadn’t come to America often – getting that many different musicians to synchronize their schedules at the same time is really hard to do.

There’s a bunch of other details that I wanted to mention, but they’re all really random. I mean, you’ll see a lot of pictures of the Asian girl with the hamburger-shaped purse that was standing in front of me because the former art major side of me saw that the light had a great tenebrism-like look to it and made her stand out. I could talk about how some dude got incredibly wasted and spilled two whole cups of beer behind me, and one of the crew members from 9:30 came out to try and mop it up while holding a flashlight at the same time. Of course, he was having a really tough time, so I used the LED on my phone to light the area for him. But all of these things are really just the fleeting moments of a concert that everyone has, and given the fact that I hadn’t been to a real concert in a while, especially not one of my own choosing, I was just blown away by everything. It doesn’t take a whole lot to please me, so something as good as seeing one of my favorite bands in my hometown just leaves me feeling elated =]

—–

Yes, I’m lazy. It took me a week and a half to actually write that. But aside from my lackadaisical blogging habits, I’ve been pretty busy this month with projects and the like. Today’s the last day of my big, month-long project, and I couldn’t feel better about it. I can go on living the way I’d like to live again – heading out to the pool halls, getting some exercise, and just being out and enjoying it. Hopefully, if I find the drive, I’ll update this blog with some of my plans for the year, like trips I’m planning, people I’m seeing, things to do – you know, what a blogger SHOULD be writing in a blog about! All that is coming soon, so watch out for it.

Also, another noteworthy thing to mention is that now my Twitter page (@LucidoFelice) is now linked to facebook, so I can post tweets as my statuses now! It’s a good way to balance everything out because I’ve been neglecting Twitter like…well, like my blog, actually. =P But I wanted everything to be streamlined – before, I would do everything in facebook, and forget about shutterfly, wordpress, and twitter, but now, I’m incorporating everything together, and it’s a lot of fun =]

Alright, I’m out for now. I’ll have many more posts soon, so keep it here for updates, and as always, you can always see what I’m up to on facebook.

Later!

– Danny

Oh, and here are a couple of Royksopp videos for your mind:

Happy Up Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51Bpx63wkbA
Eple: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qczr6Z2qtpE
Remind Me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo4u4JJAPGk

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