On Saturday May 12th at Avalon in Hollywood, Infected Mushroom premiered their new visual-heavy show along with their new album. Consisting of two ‘pods’ on each side of the stage with the main members of IM inside, the band ran through a 2 hour set of older and current tracks. The night in and of itself was a bit different from the normal Saturday night ‘Avaland/Giant’ nights as this more had the feel of a full concert with a slightly earlier starting time (12 pm) and the crowd interacting as if they were at a live show versus a typical Saturday club night.
Now on to the music. I readily admit that I am not knowledgeable of pretty much all of IM’s music. I know they are stalwarts of the psy-trance scene and incorporate other genres of music in their sets. On the night in question, they expanded that even more with rock, dubstep, trance, psy-trance and more all blended into their show. Musically it was enjoyable. Visually is where the show shined the most with computer graphics digitally mapped to the music. At the same time this may have slightly inhibited the musicians as they apparently had a relatively pre-planned set (to match the visuals). This unfortunately allows for less spontaneity. Also, with just the 2 primary band members on stage and one mainly playing keyboard and fiddling with his laptop, the show lacked the on-stage energy that I had seen years ago.
One of the things hard to keep one’s eyes off of was the Smithson Martin emulator, a touchscreen controller which was see-through so we could see the band member ‘playing’ it live on stage. (http://www.smithsonmartin.com/products/emulator/).
Overall the show was enjoyable and I am sure old Infected Mushroom fans walked away pleased. Those looking for more of a live-show experience may have been slightly disappointed by just having the two band members on stage, though the impressive visual mapped to the music should have helped add to the night. For those that enjoy psy-trance and/or Infected Mushroom, you can’t do much better than checking them out on their new tour or listening to their new album.