Low End Theory Festival: Review

Low End Theory Festival saw many of the DJ’s and producers that have come to define and even create Low End Theory. Founder Daddy Kev was seen throughout the night not only as the orchestrator of the event but even playing an upbeat set that included a group of children dancing onstage, his moniker truly coming to life. Gaslamp Killer, another long time resident and initial member, was regularly seen keeping the energy level alive between sets, serving as a bridge between sometimes very different musical styles. Daedalus (a USC Thornton Graduate) displayed his own unique baroque sensibilities both in his attire and his explosive set that featured two drummers and possibly three bow ties. Overall the festival ran quite smoothly, there were few delays and for how much technology moved on and off the stage the lack of any sort of technical difficulty was impressive. 

The music itself was at times odd to view in a large-scale setting, many of the producers made their fame in small clubs and venues nowhere near the size of the 6,000 person capacity the Shrine boasts. With such large amounts of people, leaving goers disinterested could have further reaching consequences than just a bad night at the club. Whilst this could have made artists stray from improvisation the crowd itself was very receptive to seeing performers experiment. I think it’s unlikely that many of those who bought tickets knew who Invisibl Skratch Picklz, a legendary turntablist group performing since the 90s, even were. However, the crowd seemed entranced and listened closely to their vinyl scratching set, even producing noticeable vocal appreciation. Even artists like Jonwayne whose music holds power in his rhythmic cadence and poetic lyricism rather than the provocative energy that gets people thrashing, was given utmost attention, every person in the audience was listening word for word what he had to say. So save for a few die-hard Wu-Tang fans who only clamored and came for Ghostface and Raekwon (who did play a phenomenal show) throughout the night, the highlight of the festival was the people and community Low End has been able to cultivate in these last ten years.

As a quick aside, if you are a fan of old school hip-hop do not miss the chance to see any member of the Wu-Tang crew live and in concert, they are not washed up, the energy and fire on which they staked their claim in hip hop legend remains bright.

Be sure to keep up with Low End Theory’s weekly club nights here

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