The Chemical Brothers
The Shrine Auditorium, May 10
Divinely chosen to ferry the electronica peace ship across the Atlantic, the Chemical Brothers are a rock band of a completely new tradition. Half a year after their blistering single "Setting Sun" helped ignite a Stateside electronica vagary, this, their 4th appearance in Los Angeles, seemed to cement the revolution.
After trading opening bands for a smattering of talented DJs -including Scott Hardkiss and Jason Bentley, who spun magnificently- The Brothers, Tom Rolands and Ed Simons, appeared, taking refuge behind towers of magical little boxes.
They broke right into "Leave Home." Imagine the interior of a cranium... imagine Tom and Ed as the ocular nerves, assimilating all that is before them and re-interpreting it for the audience, a confounding number of Caucasians releasing their souls spasmodically, neurons bouncing hither and thither, being bombarded by superheavy, subsonic bass frequencies that nefarious government agencies have been accused of controlling minds with. Selections from Exit Planet Dust, as well as their new disc, Dig Your Own Hole, included "Block Rockin' Beats," "It Doesn't Matter," "Song to the Siren," and "Three Little Birdies Down Beats." The super-sophisticated sound system panned atomic fragments of noise back and forth, engulfing the hall and bludgeoning the audience.
Winding down with their Neal Gallagher-enhanced hit, and ending with their epic "The Private Psychedelic Reel" (a whirlpool of violin/sitar snippets, breakbeats and sputters from a 4th dimension carnival ride) neurons surfed along blissfully while the mediaeval imagery projected behind them morphed with a maniacal clown, flickering in time to the beats of the quasi-mystic instruments, dissolving into one message: All is... love.
The Chemical Brothers bombastic live assault is aural Esperanto - this revolution in music is exciting, for it has no real ideology to communicate - and not one word from the duo all night. Terence McKenna says language is a barrier and as we spiral towards the new millennium, communication will become increasingly cerebral and verbiage will be be fazed out. The Brothers music is the nouveau psychedelica - love n' drug music expressly made for the current generation. Evolution, hallucination, technology, inner space. Ah, better living through chemistry.