Every time I step foot through the doors of my next Rudimental performance, I usually know exactly what to expect. I usually have a firm grasp on their track list, which white rabbit tricks will be steadily pulled from their collective oh-so-talented hats, and I know how strong they’ll finish. In this specific case, I was spot on. Nailed it to a T. Although I didn’t get a chance to check the openers of the show, as I ran a bit late to the venue, I heard Jason Bentley & Matt Black did exceptionally well. Now, before I get into my experience with Rudimental‘s performance, let me just state it now. Gorgon City stole the show. They blew the tops right off of every preexisting judgment I’d had of them, and made me an immediate fan. While my favorite drum and bass band still never ceases to amaze me, I have to bite my tongue and give it to the house duo. They mugged the show, tied it up, and dumped the body on the sidewalk of the exit of the venue, to make certain that every person in attendance knew they’d killed it.
Let me begin by explaining my love/hate relationship with The Shrine. It truly is a double-edged sword at its roots. It can be a cool, dimly-lit space with beautiful roofing architecture and luxury balconies, or it can be a sludgy sweatbox filled to its capacity, packing ravers like a can of sardines, packaged and ready to be sold to the general public at a wholesale price. Luckily with this show, the latter was not the case. There was room to dance, room to move your feet and still feel comfortable enough to walk a short radius from the stage and fill your drink. Apart from a few sound issues (we’ll get into that later), the lighting, room temperature and overall experience was on point.
I’ll save you the disclaimer of how much of a huge (and I mean huge) Rudimental fan I am, and just mention that if there’s ever a diehard fan who’s followed them to every show in a reasonable distance and purchased every song since their first release, it’s me. That being said, whether you know who’s about to take the stage as the lights shimmer or not, you feel it. You feel their stage presence, you feel the sharpness of the MC’s voice as he announces the departure of the performance of your next hour, and most of all the energy. As they stretched their wings from performing hits of their new album such as “Love Ain’t Just A Word,” to classics like “Waiting All Night,” they made anyone who wasn’t already obsessed to the bone with them, well… obsessed to the bone. The last few shows that I’ve seen of them, they always show tribute to the grassroots junglist drum and bass culture that they pride themselves on by dropping their rendition of Shy FX‘s “Original Nuttah” to an unsuspecting crowd. Bliss. All that being nothing short of perfect, I couldn’t get by another word if I didn’t mention the horrendous sound guy’s microphone issue. For a solid 20 minutes of this beautiful performance, one microphone was noticeably lower than every other instrument and output on the band’s channels. For a sorry chunk of their performance, it seemed as though they just couldn’t figure it out, however… that doesn’t attest to the fact that the band sung and performed their passionate hearts out. I’ll take that over a lip-synced sad excuse for a performance any day.
As for Gorgon City, wow. As much as I love house music, I’ve never really found myself going the extra mile to see a performance like this. I guess what I’m saying is, if Rudimental hadn’t been billed on the lineup, I wouldn’t have made the drive to attend the aforementioned show. This is a prime example of the beauty in exposure. I truly wish I could tell you which of their hits they dropped, which classics they reenacted, or even whose of their colleague’s tracks were dropped. In the moment did I care about anything other than the movement of the crowd, and the sweat dripping down my forehead? Absolutely not. They made an immediate fan of me, and that’s all it boils down to.
Overall, the experience allowed me to mark another tally on my imaginary whiteboard of Rudimental shows. If I had to rate it, I’d give it a 9/10 (purely because of the dumb sound guy). My newly acquired love for Gorgon City was the icing on the cake.