Music review: Major Lazer - 'Dance music for the short attention span generation'
Brixton Academy, London
The project of American producer Diplo, Major Lazer’s most recent album was an enjoyable lucky bag of collaborations and guest artists; a dip could draw out anyone from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig to Shaggy, Dirty Projector’s Amber Coffman to Peaches. It was equally scattergun in genre, mashing together dancehall and reggae, dubstep and drum’n’bass, electro-pop and indie vocals.
Live, Major Lazer are even more skittish – tracks rarely last more than a minute or two, constantly chopping and changing. It’s dance music for the short attention span generation; DJing with ADHD. It’s also pretty annoying: we’re there to move, but they rarely let you get into a groove before whisking off in another direction. As well as their own tracks, there are brief snippets of everything from The Prodigy to House of Pain to Snoop Dogg, making the evening somewhat resemble a big-budget student disco. Diplo is flanked by fellow Lazers, Walshy Fire and Jillionaire, but the only live guest is Coffman; “Get Free”, the track she sings on, is allowed breathing space and unsurprisingly becomes a highlight.
Not to say a Major Lazer show isn’t a lot of fun: these boys know how to party. They fire smoke canons and streamers, wave giant flags, go zorbing over the crowd. And the crowd are very up for it, throwing their hands – and their shirts - in the air at Diplo’s request; there’s a bro-step, frat party vibe here that feels extremely American. Their show is weirdly short on actual lasers, but there are epilepsy-inducing flashing lights and projections of the sort of unsubtle bright green giant cannabis leaves that more usually grace teenage boy’s walls.
Their dancers also seem to be straight out of a teenage fantasy; anyone who found Miley’s twerking too raunchy would likely faint right away on seeing the things these two hair-flicking, hot-pant-wearing women can do with their pelvises. It obviously goes with the dancehall stylings, but there’s a somewhat creepy power imbalance between three men in suits holding microphones, and two barely-dressed, silent women gyrating furiously. This is only exacerbated when a selection of young audience members – all women, naturally – “with big bootys” are pulled up on stage to wind away to “Bubble Butt”, a track celebrating/objectifying female bottoms. No doubt, I’d be accused of taking it all too seriously: it’s just a party, bro.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Britain First picture: Photographer 'horrified' after first Afghan policewoman killed by Taliban used for 'ban the burka' campaign
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, review: Revolution still seems far off
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, ITV, review: There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God