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.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year