It seems like Simian Mobile Disco has taken a bit of a tumble lately.
In shedding their electro-house sound and adopting a darker techno approach, it seems they've lost quite a few fans.
We remember a few years ago, in 2008, when the duo performed live at Studio A to a packed audience. The following year, the duo headlined the Live Stage at Ultra to nearly universal praise.
This year, the duo barely filled up Eve on Thursday and were stuck with a 5:30 p.m. performance slot. Times usually dictate how "important" an act to organizers and fans and the bright sunlight basically rendered Simian Mobile Disco's usual light show obsolete. That's not to say they weren't spot on on Saturday.
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Like mad scientists, Simian's show featured an impressive set up. A large box of knobs, keys, sliders, and whathaveyous took up most of the stage and had the duo constantly rotating around it to create sounds. They pretty much stuck to their guns and focused less on their electro-house past and more of their latest offerings from Temporary Pleasure and Delicacies. Twitchy tracks like "10000 Horses Can't Be Wrong" and "Nerve Salad" only sound better when performed live. But it's was our favorite track, "Audacity of Huge" that really seemed to get the crowd going.
That's not to say, offerings from Attack Decay Sustain Release were complete ignore. What would be a Simian Mobile Disco performance without hearing "It's the Beat" or "Hustler"?
But we are going to have to go against the tide here and say we actually enjoy Simian's darker directions. So if they keep going deeper and more ambient, we're going to keep listening.