It was only Wednesday night, yet if you made your way through Royal Oak Music Theatre, it was impossible not to notice the mass of excited fans of The Glitch Mob. Surrounded by people with kandi bracelets up to their elbows, others with LED gloves, and some donning furry spirit hoods, the hype that sounded this electronic music group was evident.
Chrome Sparks took to the stage first with a very minimalistic stage set up that included household lamps synchronized to the music. Chrome Sparks’ talent oozed effortlessly as the crowd became almost hypnotized by the ethereal echoes intertwined with cryptically muffled vocals and dreamy synthesizers. Jeremy Malvin, the producer behind Chrome Sparks, was a former University of Michigan student at the Music School who studied classical percussion. With an elated “Go Blue!” near the end of his performance, Chrome Sparks immersed the crowd one last time in his enchanting Chrome Forest before departing.
The M Machine took to the stage next, hyping up the crowd behind a towering ten foot DJ booth and emitting shattering beats that pulsed through the venue. The visuals were nothing short of excellent: intricate geometric designs, blinding LED patterns, and the occasional cartoon figure - each adding a lighthearted, playful element to their set. The transitions between songs were flawless, with each song melting into the next and building upon the former, guiding the audience from electro, to tech house, techno, and the occasional dubstep song. A personal favorite was the song Dip by Worthy. It was impossible not to notice the expertise of these DJs and quality music which they mixed– and I am sure that the fan shazamming each song in the set next to me would have agreed.
In the last minutes leading up to The Glitch Mob, the emotions and excitement of fans in the crowd were intensified. A girl in the front row dressed as a skeleton, inked with body paint on every exposed portion of skin, reiterated her admiration for the electronic trio at least six times.
As the lights dimmed, a large machine rolled to the middle of the stage, leaking fog from underneath it that weaved its way throughout the crowd, adding dramatic elements to their entrance. The black cover over the mysterious machine was whisked off, revealing what looked like three industrial-looking midi controllers, iPads, and Taiko drums. Combine the LED lights, background display, gigantic mechanical gears, and the impeccable live recreation of their music, The Glitch Mob presented their fans with a hauntingly powerful and memorable performance.
The Glitch Mob are truly entertainers. Most notable was the live rendition of Warrior Concerto, a song that incorporates classical orchestral instruments such as the violin into the shadowy, glitched electronic style they are famous for producing. The trio appeared almost otherworldly, donned completely in black, waving their hands to the rhythm as if they were conductors, their manufactured melodies infecting the crowd and syncing them into a harmonious dancing mass.
When the show finally came to a close, it was unquestionable that The Glitch Mob, The M Machine, and Chrome Sparks had brought down the house. As tacky as that may seem, it’s hard to disagree with that statement after noticing the giant chunk of ceiling that crashed to the floor in the lobby of the theater as you were departing.