Photos By: Monica Donovan
Article By: Austin Pritchard
On Tuesday September 7th, The Glitch Mob played Higher Ground in South Burlington, Vermont. Higher Ground has established itself as the music epicenter for larger touring bands filtering through the North East. Higher Ground is divided into two separate rooms - one larger than the other. The Glitch Mob was scheduled to play in the larger "Ballroom". Given our geographic location and our population’s propensity towards jam music, I was skeptical as to whether or not The Glitch Mob would be able to fill the larger of the two rooms.
I arrived right before Marty Party took the stage and immediately noticed the huge turnout. It looked like I was wrong. While no one was turned away at the ticket counter, Higher Ground filled the Ballroom to capacity. Smiles abounded. Everyone seemed like they were ready to throw down on a rainy Tuesday night in Vermont.
The crowd was a bit younger than I am used to seeing at Higher Ground. Most shows, at least the ones that I attend, are filled with hipsters, hippies, wooksters, bros, brosaphines, and all forms of drunken college kids. This show seemed almost fully supported by high school age kids wearing bright clothes and clutching glow sticks. Some were excitedly talking about how they were attending a "rave", while others were less vocal and seemed deeply concentrated on simply keeping it together.
When Marty Party opened his set up, I could tell right away that everyone was in for a good time. He absolutely crushed it. Barely a minute into the first song it was clear we were all in for something special. Whoever was working sound that night was dead on. Even my pants were dancing back and forth as a barrage of notes and subsonic waves aggressively pushed their way through them. Marty Party's brilliant mash-ups and mastery of Ableton had the crowd foaming at the mouth when he finally left the stage. The Glitch Mob was going to have to put on one hell of a show to top their opening act.
The Glitch Mob group’s core producer/instrumentalists Justin Boreta, Ed Ma, and Josh Mayer, played many songs from their debut album release Drink the Sea, which was released on May 25 on the band’s own Glass Air label. One of the most impressive aspects of The Glitch Mob’s music is that they don’t use samples, which gives them complete creative control and allows them to craft unique musical pieces.
The Glitch Mob’s stage presence was amplified by their imaginative use of space and presentation of their work station. They wanted the crowd to see what they were doing. Each member had a touchpad that was angled towards the crowd, a pair of electronic drum heads, and a variety of other technical weapons of groove. The threesome seamlessly rotated between their instruments which created not only amazing sounds, but cultivated an energy that frenzied the crowd. They weren’t merely three people standing in front of laptops, bobbing their heads and cradling oversized headphones; the Glitch Mob controlled the stage like rock stars aggressively molesting their instruments.
Over the next few hours The Glitch Mob put on a show that made it clear that their brand of electronic music will be here to stay for a long time. It’s a good sign when a group brings out such an eclectic and young crowd like this show did. The Glitch Mob’s music is clearly penetrating a diverse mix of people from different scenes. This is partially due to the fact that their sound defies simple classification and appeals to people of all musical tastes - whether you like Jam Bands, Indie Rock, Hip Hop, or Glitchy bass music, most everyone can find something appealing in The Glitch Mob’s music.
Not even the nasty thunderstorm that had centered itself over South Burlington could sully my great mood on my drive home. With shows like Big Gigantic filling the smaller room only a few weeks before, and Pretty Lights selling out their two night run coming up in a few weeks, it seems that Vermont is embracing electronic music, which is great news for those of us who have been patiently waiting.
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