LIVE REVIEW: The Glitch Mob at Czar Imperial Ballroom 07.13.11

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Ed Ma, aka edIT, performs at Czar Imperial Ballroom in Ybor City on July 13, 2011./Photo by: gtdmouse

Michael Jordan dribbling through every defender that comes his way.  Barry Sanders making running through 300-pound defensive linemen look like child’s play.  Tony Little on the Gazelle thing.  The element that makes someone a master is that they make the seemingly difficult look easy, and last night – for almost two hours at the Czar Imperial Ballroom in Ybor City – Los Angeles-based EDM wunderkinds, The Glitch Mob, did just that.

In essence the spectacle merely consists of three normal guys with odd stage names – Ed Ma (edIT), Justin Boreta (Boreta), and Josh Mayer (Ooah) – playing, as one might expect, glitchy electronic music.  However, what sets them apart from other electronic based acts is that the boys have pretty much mastered making the performance of said music (which usually just involves queuing up samples then building upon them using synths and a bunch of knobs that audience members can’t see) into something less nerdy fans can relate too.

What looks like some dudes tapping on advanced iPads and drum machines is actually a complicated, well-orchestrated, and clearly heavily-practiced set that finds the Mob – who have been at it for the better part of five years – seemingly already at the peak of their powers.  Utilizing the very visual aspect of JazzMutant’s legendary Lemur – a multi touch controller that has now been officially retired – Ma, Boreta, and Mayer sampled classics like Drakes “Forever” and Nas’ “Made You Look” all while showing the audience how they piece together original cuts like “Animus Vox” from Drink the Sea.

They had teased their new stage set up – designed by the guys responsible for this – numerous times on websites and Twitter, but to see it in action is something else.  What merely looks like three fluorescent light bulb towers and 21 small TV’s when roadies pull the covers off almost becomes living, breathing, sensory overload.  Glitch Mob has a song featured on the Tron: Legacy R3CONF1FUR3D soundtrack, and it times it did feel like the Imperial Ballroom had in fact turned into a scene from the film itself.

It fact at points it was hard to tell what was more entertaining, the stage or the Mob themselves.  Still, at the end of the day the kids dancing in front tell the story at the end of the day.  They were merely bobbing their heads during a fantastic, hour-and-half-long opening set from Com Truise, but the end of Glitch Mob’s set (which, after a two-song encore, wrapped up at 2:20 a.m.) were drenched in sweat and refusing to head for the doors.

A photo gallery by gtgmouse is available below.