By: Damian Moran
This past weekend was a busy one for the electronic scene in Chi-Town. Rusko was bringing down the house over at the Congress Theater (and getting the cops called), while Trentemoller, The Twelves, and Laidback Luke all headlined shows at Chicago’s newest house and electro hot spot, The Mid.
The Mid is really not that big a place, the dance floor fits a hundred or so people, while tables line the walls throughout the venue and into the balcony. Upstairs, you’ll find another dance floor, although most patrons choose to hang over the rail to watch the DJs below. There are plenty of areas off to the sides; good for avoiding the crush of the crowd and getting friendly with a dance partner, if that’s your thing. I was hoping to see a more diverse crowd of fun loving electro music fanatics, but a lot of the crowd that night was taking everything a bit seriously. However, as the night progressed, people loosened up big time. It was the official Rusko after party and his crowd showed up in droves to liven things up—and liven things up they did!
Gemini Club took the stage first, followed by Hey Champ! Both were well received. A unique, electro-disco sound created by guitar, synths, drums, and laptops got the crowd moving, topped with a glaze of 80’s vocals. The beat never quits and the high-energy performances of the hometown bands had everyone going until the twins from Brazil were ready to be unleashed. Both bands gave the crowd a treat as they remixed each other’s music, as well. Gemini Club performed “Cold Dust Girl” and Hey Champ! answered back during their set with a remix of Gemini Club’s “Ghost.” It seemed as though the crowd wasn’t expecting to see instruments that night, but they got a live-electronic wake up call.
After a short break, The Twelves stage was set, including a giant stand resembling an altar, and a long LCD screen spanning the length of the stage for a backdrop. The twins have been called Brazil’s answer to Daft Punk. I personally can’t make such a claim, but I had been anticipating this show for almost 3 years, as I have missed them on their previous Chicago tours and once in South America. As the light dimmed (I’m talking imperceptible blackness) people were jockeying for positions on the floor. João Miguel and Luciano Oliveira delivered a set that opened really heavy on the drum and bass. They were making the crowd move only the way that Brazilians can as they bridged the gap between drum and bass and hands-in-the-air, nu-disco sounds. The synth started to take over and heavy house sound subsided into funkier, upbeat, disco-influenced sounds. People couldn’t stop moving to their remix of “Ce Jeu” by Yelle, even though nobody had any idea what the hell she was saying, probably something like “shake your ass” or “move your body,” because everyone was complying. The Virgins “Rich Girls” remix had the ladies in the house playing hard to get for a few minutes. One of the only successful remixes of a Radiohead song that I’ve ever heard was dropped on the crowd around 3 am with “Reckoner” echoing through the building. Once they jumped into their Groove Armada “Drop The Tough” remix it was over, everyone got a roundhouse disco kick to the face and the whole place was in frenzy. All in all, Miguel and Oliveira brought a unique and unmatchable experience into The Mid on Good Friday, transporting everyone back into the 70’s disco-funk era with a serious injection of electro. Go grab your folks’ bellbottoms from the attic and catch The Twelves.
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