Musical groups compete for crowd affection
THE SANTA CLARA
October 9, 2014
Four electronic artists with varying styles competed for cheers of fans at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom on Oct. 1.
Radio legend Sway Calloway hosted the the first annual Red Bull Music Academy Culture Clash, which starred internationally recognized, San Francisco-based artists: Dirtybird, Triple Threat DJs, Tormenta Tropical and Dub Mission.
The audience cheers determined the winner. Combined with the custom sound systems of each performing artist, the night was pleasingly deafening.
Disses and response tracks were, as Red Bull put it, “explicitly encouraged,” and each group was given four rounds to showcase their musical prowess. With the rules set, the event commenced.
Dub Mission, a reggae-infused group, juxtaposed heavy baselines, a megaphone-toting front man and a live three horn accompaniment. Their finest moment came during a live sampling of the lavish horns from Outkast’s slow jam tour-de-force “SpottieOttieDopalicious.”
They also brought out Bay Area legends, Luniz, for a rendition of their classic hit, “I Got 5 On It,” which sent the crowd boogieing down memory lane.
Tormenta Tropical followed with a set of pure energy. Among their ranks was a stone-faced twerker, an exceptionally sassy, blue-haired diva and a muscular Jamaican singer with a strangely high-pitched voice.
Despite being the weakest group, they provided a highlight of the night by tossing fried chicken from buckets into the crowd to a bombastic styling of “I Like to Move It.”
Next on stage was Triple Threat DJs — three DJs with a classic education of the turntables. As Leon from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” would say, “They brought the ruckus.”
Backed by a large contingent of towel-waving fanatics, they slammed the crowd with juicy baselines. Triple Threat showcased their versatility by crafting tunes in the styles of their competitors. Entrancing the crowd with their boldness, they twisted hits like “Trophies” and “Move B*tch” in their appeal for the championship.
Finally, there was Dirtybird, captained by a bearded Buddha. They brought a tremendous amount of star power.
Too $hort came to conduct the crowd with his mega-hit “Blow the Whistle.” Then, super-trio Major Lazer, Diplo’s protegés, materialized and dropped their omnipresent, super-salsa horn sampling “Watch Out for This,” which sent the audience into hysterics.
Then, like mythic gods, the glistening gold and silver helmets of Daft Punk emerged from the fog that hung in the air and the duo played “Get Lucky.” The hive mind of the audience was lost.
Dirtybird concluded their final set and was met with chants of their name reverbing off the walls of the packed ballroom.
“It was exciting to go to a concert where you didn’t know what artists you were going to see,” said junior Courtney Griffin.
In a surprise upset, Triple Threat DJs took the title. The trio provided a rumbling outro for the sweaty, satisfied audience filing out into the warm San Francisco night.
While exiting, a white-haired woman, the mother-in-law of Dub Mission’s female DJ, stood out among her fellow audience members. When asked if she had ever been to a show like this before she replied, “Not since the ‘60s.”
Contact John Flynn at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.