We were superconfused during the first part of DJ Shadow's Ultra Music Festival set last night.
Just as we we were turning the corner to the Live Stage, we heard him announcing that it was his first time in Miami.
But once we actually got a view of things, all we saw was a white sphere and a giant screen with video being projected on each. The man himself was nowhere in sight.
A few tracks into the show, though, the ball spun around to reveal that Shadow was actually inside it. Hey, he'd never been to Miami. We're new to the experience.
We also weren't aware the Shadow is going so hard lately. Like, really, really, really hard with skull-crushing dubstep and bass elements.
Yeah, we're totally the assholes who cherish Endtroducing... and we've only sort of kept up with anything Shadow's been doing since. Though, that's a big part of the festival experience -- getting to experience acts you likely wouldn't have otherwise.
The set alternated between the harder, high-tempo stuff and the more relaxed grooves we usually associate with Shadow. It included tracks from every era of his career, including the Thom Yorke collabo, "Rabbit in Your Headlights," from his time with U.N.K.L.E. as well as the Outsider track "Enuff," featuring Q-Tip and Lateef the Truthspeaker.
At one point, he even seemed to dedicate the set by shouting out, "R.I.P. Trayvon Martin," which got a respectful cheer from the crowd.
And then Shadow gave us a peak into the future by debuting a new track. "It's some new shit I've never done before," he said. "You'll all be the first."
It was a slow-paced track with big heavy bass and detatched yet sultry female vocals. (Check it out for yourself at about 16:25 in the video below.)
Back inside the otherworldly white sphere, Shadow hollered: "Miami, whether you know who the fuck I am or not, if you know this beat right here, I want to see everybody jump up and down when this breakbeat drops." And then he closed out the set with Endtroducing...'s "Organ Donor."
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But before exiting, he had a message for some of the super DJs at Ultra and the fans who love them. "I'm here to represent performance-based DJing," he proclaimed. "If that motherfucker that you idolize isn't sweating by the end of it, he's a motherfucking fake."
Because the interenet is amazing, a video of the entire set (see above) has already been uploaded to YouTube. The sound quality is lacking, but it gives you an idea.