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TRV$DJ-AM @ The Roxy, 7/30/08

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If you happened to find yourself pushing your way through throngs of vintage Nike-clad hipsters and fedora-and-vested ladies on the Strip Wednesday night then you were probably caught up in the hype surrounding the joint performance between world class DJ-AM and former Blink 182 drummer impresario Travis Barker. With three concerts this summer at the Roxy under the alias TRV$-AM, the unprecedented alliance between rock and dance has forced LA to its knees with a threatening new performance style. While the glamour of the show may have been highlighted by its sold out status, special guest appearances by Paul Wall and Warren G, and signed drumsticks thrown around the pit, this performance was nothing short of a challenge. Travis Barker has set out to prove that he is the preeminent drummer of the current music generation, and after Wednesday’s show it would be pretty difficult to argue otherwise.

Hip Hop duo The Knux took the stage first to amp up the crowd, setting the pace for an evening of eclectic samples and speedy rhymes. While the music was perfectly suited to kick off the night, the scent of pot smoke and sweat seemed to start getting to the audience in anticipation of the headlining act. AM and Travis finally took the stage, immediately firing off the first few set of samples that included everything from the Police to the Knife to Rage Against the Machine. The set went on for a complete hour and a half with Travis taking little more than a five second break the entire time. Amidst AM’s wikky-wikky scratch and Travis’ drum beat to accompany, Paul Wall and Warren G took the stage to perform their respective hits. No genre went untouched, and after 90 minutes of a mind-blowing display of skill, the crowd spilled on to Sunset Blvd. in disbelief of what was just witnessed.

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Photo courtesy ofThe Roxy Blog via Flickr

One can’t help but wonder how stifled Travis felt during his tenure in Blink 182. Three-chord punk progressions aren’t exactly conducive to grand displays of ability, but he made the best of his situation and made a name for himself. Through various side projects, past and present (including the Transplants and +44), Travis has met some of the highest profile figures in the music and entertainment business, further providing more exposure to show-off his ungodly skills. What can only be described as a pinnacle performance, Travis has convinced an adoring fan base and beyond that he is a veritable drum machine. Genre after genre was thrown at him and he never missed a beat. And at this juncture its safe to say that Travis will challenge any and all comers, but doing so would mean taking on one of the true leaders ofmodern drumming.

The final TRV$DJ-AM show of the summer will be held on August 27th. Header image courtesy of The Roxy Blog via Flickr.