Live - MSTRKRFT @ Mezzanine | SF

Why do lots of good things have no vowels – New York band MGMT, myths, rhythm, VCRs? Canadian DJ heroes MSTRKRFT qualify for the category, but do they win my heart like that song "Electric Feel"? Here are my five favorite things from last week's show:

Photos by J Dubbz

5. Everyone else was denied access to the stage – and we mean everyone. From the enthusiastic dancers that were swooped off to the blond who tried to hug Jesse Keeler while he was in the middle of – oh, I don't know, a concert – they all got promptly shown the stairs down from center stage. I don't think there was enough room for them and Keeler's moustache anyway.

4. The opening acts looked like famous movie characters. Felix Cartel guys = Night At The Roxbury; Congorock = the in-house (in-submarine?) DJ for The Life Aquatic, sporting a white shirt and a red beanie.

3. The crowd was weird, but it worked. Group to my right as I was dancing: dudes who obviously were at their first electronic show and probably found out about MSTRKRFT through their dorm's IT guys. Group to my left while I was dancing: a gaggle of girls who could not decide whether or not they wanted to be gangster (throwing up some supposed gang signs with their fingers), sexy (groping each other through Wet Seal tube tops), or high maintenance (adjusting bangs every two minutes). Pick a stereotype and stick to it! It makes things easier for everyone. But despite my presumptions, everyone continued to body rock it. As a Presets track got thrown into MSTRKRFT's mix, I looked over at a guy next to me thrashing around. Right at a synth-heavy transition, we instinctively looked at each other, grabbed hands and jumped together to the drum loop accompanying the sound explosion. It was one of my favorite moments of the night.

Oh, and there was a guy in the smoking area I spotted who was sporting a taco tattoo on his bicep. A... Taco... Tattoo.

2. The projection show had all my favorite things: girls in fishnet thigh highs, girls in fishnet thigh highs humping shit, and guns. Oh, and The Clapper. TV-shaped screens stacked tall behind Keeler and Al-P and in a 2x4 arrangement in front of them flashed some really dynamic imagery in sync with their mixing, which provided an essential visual component. But not as much as…

1. There was a laser-fucking-light show. That set up has now been entered into my mind for most legendary getup, even rivaling Frenchie Justice's. It is 1:48 AM on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning, and there was still a strong group of people dancing to the rows of strobed bars pulsating perfectly to the duo. Damn guys, don't you people work? And while it can be argued that MSTRKRFT's live shows don't really include any of their popular material (that stellar mix they did of Metric's "I Fought The War" was missing) and more of mainstream stuff like Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams" and Usher's "Love In This Club", the combo of lights and visuals was a huge seller. The only thing that would have made it better is if I were on drugs. Seriously.

"Do all DJs' necks hurt from all that bobbing?" my friend Kristin asked as we watched them wrap up with the theme song from Cheers.

"Maybe," I said. "But it's to see that they enjoy the audience because the audience enjoys them."


Live - MSTRKRFT @ Mezzanine | SF