Show Review: The Bloody Beetroots (Live) at The Independent, 4/22/10

by David Price on April 26, 2010

The Bloody Beetroots own the stage.

For the longest time I have been looking for an electronic DJ to bridge the gap from DJing and samples to actually playing tracks live. The Bloody Beetroots seem to have done it. Not only have they done it, but they did it in a way that demands you to rethink electronic music!
As I stood outside for over an hour in the chilly San Francisco night the amount of I.D. issues was rather funny. Apparently the Beetroots have a huge less-than-21 following, making fake I.D.’s a must at the Independent where all shows are 21 and up. Some people yelled, my favorite was “I’m obviously over 21 look at all the fucking stamps on my passport!” I thought to myself, “now that guys definitely not getting in,” but he did.

Once inside there are so many people with bandannas over theirs, face it looks like an anarchist splinter group from a peace rally took a left and headed to The Independent. The bandanna wearing anarchists make up about half, the other are the type who you’d expect to see at a poorly produced rave (i.e. one that would let minors in). I’d be shocked to learn that there was one person in attendance that’s over 30 tonight.

This is the second time that I know of that the Beetroots have played live, as in no turntables. Bridging the gap between DJs and bands. A full drum kit is on stage, every keyboard or synth you’d expect to find in a studio, even guitars. I’d always thought about what it would take to reproduce the electronic sound live, like if Girl Talk played live without a laptop and had other people, or even himself, actually playing the samples. The Beatroots did just that tonight, three people playing instruments, being mixed by a fourth person, all live.

If you have never heard The Bloody Beetroots, their music is predominately classified as electronic, synth heavy and deep tight bass, also known as a “banger.” The Beetroots are quite possibly one of the best and most resepected in their tinny sub-pocket of the electronic music world. As the beats build to the “drop” and the synth starts to stab, the pitch bends and the bass surounds you, by this point your begging for the drop to release you. As the drop hits, the dance floor erupts! This is the formula for most of the Beetroots tracks.

The Beetroots other side is much more punk, I have haerd people say that they have an apparent rock sound to some of their tracks but I’d liken it more punk then rock, more like the Misfits or The Ramones. They have a way of fusing this anarchist puck angst into the traditionally free-loving drug-induced rainbow known as electronic music. Literally on one side of the Independent was a guy playing with glow sticks and on the other a fifteen foot mosh-pit.

This set was really all about fusion. The ability for a live drummer to be drumming along to the string of banger after banger and also wear a Venom mask the entire time is outstanding. Then to have a second member playing 2 Nords and 2 Korgs, a Bass and a guitar, and singing for a total of about 6 instruments is killer, but only topped off by a third member playing with a Kaoss pad and then all mixed live by a 4th member. It’s impossible to not be impressed by the ability of The Beetroots to be able to recreate a sound that they made in a studio with a labyrinth of instruments and computers and bring it to a live show as a carbon copy.

It’s all about the whole experience though, it’s about how this piercing music takes over and makes you dance. This was one of the rare show where EVERYONE was actually dancing. The youthful energy that allowed everyone to continue to dance throughout the entire set and somehow dance harder at every drop. If there was ever an example of a crowd feeding a band and a band feeding a crowd this was it. The more intense the crowd got the more The Beetroots would feel it and translate it. There were several times when it really seemed like it would get out of hand and the staff wouldn’t be able to contain the people jumping on stage, and the staff would try and get them off and the Beetroots would dance with them.

It’s clear, after tonight, that The Bloody Beetroots are no longer DJs but a full fledged band, it’s the dagger in the heart of all the haters out there who claim electronic music isn’t in the same league because it can’t be reproduced live. Well, here it is, and here it is with all the fuck you in-your-face attitude you’d expect from a dressed-up-like Deadmau5 and happy-to-be-here Joey Ramone.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline Hernandez April 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I’ve never been to a show with this much energy. Maybe I’m in the wrong scene?

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casey May 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

love the beetroots. saw them play a dj set last year and the set had so much energy, they truly know how to put on a show even during a dj set. i really wanted to catch the live show in LA but it was right after i returned from coachella. seeing this video and reading the reviews made me sorry i missed it.

glitch mob’s been doing a live show recently too that i would highly recommend catching if you get a chance, and i saw the crystal method earlier this year live. it wasn’t nearly as high energy as this beetroots set but they did have a few songs that blew me away live (most notably: falling hard featuring meiko).

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Test October 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm

I’m seeing them tomorrow night. Makes me think of Daft Punk meets The Glitch Mob. Can’t wait!!

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