Calvin Harris @ the Echo, 9/15
With a ton of much-deserved hype, Calvin Harris descended on the Echo on Friday night. His debut album has been an official repeater in my studio for the last three weeks. I remember my third or fourth listen one night. I heard a song that I really loved, finished the album, and then went back to find the track, but the entire album was so good that I couldn't find that one track. To say that is rare in the electronic world, and frankly the music world, is a gross understatement.
Needless to say, when I found out that Mr. Harris would be gracing the Echo with his presence, I had to be on the set. I got there at 9:30 and there were about 50 people in the area. By the time Calvin went on, the Echo was as packed as I have ever seen it. With all of the mediocrity out there these days, a jammed Calvin Harris gig in LA in September 2007 is not just heartening; it actually bolsters my faith in humanity.
With all of the ill shit on the record, I was prepared to see a dude singing over a laptop or a CD. But oh no. Calvin Harris represented to the fullest with a full, tight band that put on one of the better electronic shows I have seen.
Electronic acts notoriously suck live. I have seen almost all of my electronic heroes live, and sadly, only a few deliver live. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that Calvin Harris put the time and effort into putting together a sick live band that, despite regular quips about how faded everybody was, was very tight. It's something that most electronic acts simply don't attempt, but was in this case, highly appreciated by an oddly fanatical crowd for a young UK artist supporting his first album.
From start to finish, Calvin and his band seriously worked the crowd. Typically Echo shows are packed with dudes in white belts and girls fucking with some bastardized Pat Benetar look. Although the people watching was no less entertaining on this night, this was definitely not a crowd who heard that this was the cool thing to do on Friday in Echo Park. People were straight up fucking pumped. I kept running into people amazed and thrilled that so many people knew about this relatively obscure electronic show.
Calvin rocked the crowd like a great rock frontman, and the vibe of the performance had a lot more in common with a superb rock show than it did a typical electronic performance.
I just hope that Calvin Harris doesn't turn into one of those guys who won't come back to the US for another ten years. If he is coming to a city near you, do not sleep. Drop what you are doing and get a ticket.