While Giraffage and Spazzkid were on tour together last month, editor Rupa Jogani went to see their feels-heavy sets at The Mid in Chicago.
Ah, The Mid. Despite my distaste for the venue, they manage to book amazing talent even from the underground music world and this time was no different. Giraffage is no stranger to The Mid having performed there a number of times, but since signing with Fool’s Gold Records his debut into that venue was a sweetened experience. Besides, it’s a lovely feeling to hear my favorite deep cuts of J-Pop and Shibuya Kei playing from one of the best sound systems in the city.
Even though it was a Friday night and should’ve drawn in the douchiest of club goers, I was pleasantly surprised to see many die-hard Giraffage and Spazzkid fans in the audience. There were far more recluses who came out of their shell for some serious feel-good happy sounds and the dancing was less, er, sex-based and more about feeling grooves. People were slightly more awkward but it was a welcomed change from The Mid’s usual rowdy patrons.
I’d been hankering to see Spazzkid perform for ages and was forever bummed when I missed his set in Chicago with Daedelus. Knowing his penchant and ardent love for Japanese pop sounds and blissed out music, I was thrilled when he didn’t hold back on giving us the quirky performance of a lifetime. Dropping Kyary Pamyu Pamyu remixes, tons of Japanese influenced music including his originals with Sarah Bonito, he managed to entrance us all. He used a Midi Fighter by DJ TechTools as his effects mixer which added textured layers of grooves and even sang his tracks live which made the experience more organic. His set was perfectly executed, well mixed, and I was (overly) ecstatic about all the Japanese songs I could rap to much to the dismay of audience members around us.
SPAZZKID STAGE PRESENCE
I’ve never seen a producer, DJ, or any other performer as energetic as Spazzkid, except for maybe The Hives when I saw them as a teenager. He jumped around, waved his arms, danced without any inhibition and I could see the sweat flying off his face onto the DJ both but he didn’t care one bit. The amount of energy he exuded gave us audience members even more cause to dance and feel just as excited as he felt. Girls hopped on mad drugs kept reaching up to grab his hand and he was kind enough to indulge them all.
I’ve followed Giraffage’s career for the last five years and after he signed to Fool’s Gold Records in 2014 I was like a proud mother and teared up during his set. I’d seen him perform previously at a very intimate show a couple of years back where he absolutely nailed his set. Since then, Giraffage tightened his set even further, seamlessly wove originals, remixes, and other tracks to turn the crowd the fuck up. Knowing his audience well, he dropped tons of footwork, R. Kelly remixes, and made us all Chicago proud. He closed out his set with his massive Janet Jackson ‘Someone to Call My Lover’ remix for all of us lovers. He kept the crowd mesmerized and emotional even with his bizarrely endearing visuals.
Even though he’s an internet darling and comes across as an ultra-quirky persona, in reality he’s more withdrawn in his performances but manages to stay engaged. He’s subdued, deliberate, and stays with the audience every step of the way. Even when people chanted his name and screamed for him continuously, he’d just bashfully smile and wave. Sweet guy with a killer performance.
SHOULD YOU GO?
Yes. Right now. Go find them performing in your city ASAP and get ready to have a raw, fun, grand ‘ol time.