Justice unofficially closed out this year's CMJ festival on Saturday as three thousand dance-hungry people sold out the new Terminal 5 for the first of two Justice shows. New venues in New York seem to be popping up like kebab stands all of a sudden; I feel like every show I go to lately has a fresh plaster job on the venue's drywall. Not that I'm complaining, because most of these places have their charms. Terminal 5 feels like the Thunderdome of music halls-lots of steel and a vertical layout (3 floors!) makes it a great place for either a pro wrestling cage-match or a Judas Priest video. It seemed perfect to see Justice there, with their ten thousand Marshall amps and five hundred cigarettes. When your act is two dudes in leather jackets turning knobs behind a lightbox cross, then a place like Roseland or Hammerstein just seems too...classy.
On record, Justice (Gasper AugÃ© and Xavier de Rosnay) cleverly walk the line between dirt bag house and hyper-hetero hard rock. It's a musical combo Daft Punk perfected a decade ago, and Justice has clearly done their 'homework' (I've been waiting to use that joke for a while now). But translating that to a live gig can be tricky sometimes, so Justice decides not to reinvent the wheel. Two Frenchmen on top of an electronic throne with a lightshow seizure exploding around them? This stuff sells out shows, and as blasÃ© as Justice appear to be, they of course know this.
They also knew how to get the crowd up last night, fist pumping and strobe-lighting their way through a non-stop 90-minute set. There was crowd surfing, light stick throwing, make-out corners. There was the epic sing-along to "We Are Your Friends." There was the "Master Of Puppets" riff sample. All the arena-rock tomfoolery played out perfectly and unless you were doing security or passed out (it should never be your goal to peak before the show even starts), most everyone had a huge smile on his or her face. "D.A.N.C.E.," "Waters Of Nazareth" and "Phantom" were all monsters and the mass on the floor stomped in time for each one.
At the after party, de Rosnay (wearing a Ted Nugent tee) continued the shredding with a colossal DJ set. Never mind that it was 3am, the place was still wired by the time he sprouted behind the booth at Studio B. The chain smoking didn't stop (who needs fog) as de Rosnay treated the crowd to a LOUD seamless house mix that included some Daft Punk ("Aerodynamic"), and a reprisal of "We Are Your Friends," which got everyone crackers. He closed the night on the dot at 4am with some hyper-sequencing of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck," to a few confused faces. Not sure what they were expecting. Something classy?
Photos by Gabriel Kuo