DJ Shadow + Cut Chemist, Kid Kiola Thursday, February 7, 2008, Ogden Theater Better than: Dancing with the waitresses at Tom’s Diner.
A long long time ago, 1996 to be exact, some sage named Beck surmised that the one key to any party was “two turntables and a microphone.” That same year DJ Shadow reconfigured the equation thusly: party = several turntables, no microphones. The result was a dense, layered, at times hazy masterpiece; Endtroducing. Whether or not Shadow’s music is party worthy is completely subjective, but his impact on the world of music in general, and hip-hop in particular, is no less important than Beck’s was to rock.
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Walking into the Ogden last night, I was immediately transported back to my older brother’s room. Hash, pot, keef, everything, everyone, everywhere. Except that the Iron Maiden posters are gone and everyone is dancing like it’s “Brown Eyed Girl” at a wedding. DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, are on stage coaxing new and amazing sounds out of 16 turntables. Who out there can equal that? Nobody, and that is why everybody is dancing, looking like fools, but not caring one bit.
Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow stop the set for a moment to refuel with some wine and to sign some autographs. And then we get back to the dancing; every single one of us connected in what feels like some kind of universal block party. There are no individuals, we are all dancing.
The point: last night DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist took party music to that place where it belongs, that special space in time where an entire theater full of strangers connects on that leaves no room left for the cerebral to kick in. They left us no ability to analyze what was going on, and we didn't feel the need question anything, we could only relax and enjoy what they had to offer. We could all walk home in the dark and Shadow would provide the light to get one home. -- Jeremy Brashaw
Critic’s Notebook Personal Bias: DJ Shadow, mixing in “Passin’ Me By,” by Pharcyde. Awesome, just frickin' awesome. Random Detail: Seriously, guys, dance. Don’t just wag hands like fake fists. By the Way: Some guy passed out in the bathroom. I'm sure his experience was well worth the ticket price.