Justice and Rusko at Red Rocks!

| September 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

 

by Corey Blecha

Photos Credit: Cameron Hoffman

Justice made their return to Denver after four years, to Red Rocks Amphitheater. After blowing the sound system at their last performance with funky, earth-shattering bass, the French duo were ready to make up for it with this show. The night got off to a great start with a soulful set from Boombox, who were a perfect fit for the early, daylight crowd on the rocks. Their music blends guitars, synthesizers, and groove boxes into an electronic soup that balances organic sounds and digital technology perfectly. Each performance they seem to have improved in some way, and this set proved to be one of their most refined sets to date.

Next up on the bill was Rusko, replacing Passion Pit, who had cancelled their performance just months out, and the eager Denver crowd went crazy as he took the stage for his second Denver show in recent months. Although he didn’t change his set much from his last stint in town, Rusko’s high-energy stage presence and aggressive productions revved the crowd up for the night’s headliner, and the main focus of the evening, Justice.

Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay make up the duo, and they have taken the French-disco sound to a new level with their micro sampling and funky bass synthesis. Combining fractal samples that are nearly undetectable to the average listener, Justice manages to cohesively blend riffs taken from music spanning multiple genres and generations. You may hear an ‘80s guitar riff sampled onto a beat consisting of snippets of three different pop songs, all with a pad from a modern techno song gleaming behind it. Their range of influences vary, but one thing does not, and that’s the bass. Whether heavy and grungy, or smooth and funky, Justice knows how to program a bass line, and their signature sound design has earned them a spot as some of the best producers in France.

On this night, their set consisted of both old and new songs, opening with the first tracks off of their debut and critically acclaimed album Cross. From there, they managed to sneak in a few remixes, but the duo mostly stuck to original numbers, something that I have really come to appreciate in a good DJ. It’s one thing to be good at mixing, but when you can incorporate nearly all original material into your mix, with perfect transitions no less, you are on another level, and Justice has been raising the bar since their inception. One of the most spectacular parts of their live show is their lighting rig, and after seeing clips of their stellar set at Ultra Music Festival this spring, I was really looking forward to seeing it in person. As soon as the show began, it was clear that it was going to be one of the best stage productions I had ever seen. With towers of speakers stacked on each side of a custom DJ booth, complete with flashing lights and moving animations, alongside numerous moving spotlights, Justice has created a truly exciting audio/visual experience that is not easily duplicated.

At their last show in Denver, the duo ended their set by blowing the sound system at Red Rocks, not once, but twice, and I was really hoping they wouldn’t repeat the feat, no matter how “rockstar” it was when they broke the system with bass, and shattered their keyboards on the stage at their prior performance. Luckily for us, the sound system held up, and Justice showed once again why they have earned a spot atop the international EDM scene and gained millions of fans over the years with their unique take on dance music and stunning live show. As fans trickled down the hill, the talk was all about Justice, and in a scene that has recently become more and more saturated, with artists all starting to “sound the same,” it was clear that the duo had made an impact on Denver’s keen electronic music crowd.

 

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Category: Electric Buzz

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