Who: Shpongle presents The Masquerade
Where: The Ogden Theater
The Scene: All the freaks came out to play when Shpongle hit the stage Saturday night. Honoring the masquerade theme, concertgoers were rocking a variety of creative masks. Some were kooky, some were classic and a some were a little bit scary, but it created a psychedelic mess perfect for the bizarre world Simon Posford creates.
Details: The almost-packed house bubbled with anticipation while waiting for Posford to make his entrance. While it took him a little longer than usual to get onstage, it was worth the wait. Set up on a multi-level stage that looked like a giant Transformer, he stood onstage like an emperor on his dais awaiting his loyal subjects. While colors swirled and the lights danced, Posford launched into “Divine Moments of Truth” or “DMT” for short, dropping us into a world that looked like something out of the Yellow Submarine movie. Shpongle has become known for combining world music with down tempo, synthesizer-based psychedelic music, but onstage, the group looks more like performance art than anything else. The music, while mind-blowing, acts more like a vehicle for the staging, lighting and dancing…among other freaky stuff.
Favorite Moment: Besides the serious people watching we participated in, Posford mashed up a well-known Kirtan chant, “Maha Deva Shambo,” with crazy beats, perfectly blending music from the East and the West.
The Bad: Although we aren’t complaining, it was not quite the staging we were expecting. With an event named the “Masquerade,” we were hoping to see the full band playing together and the entire crowd decked out in masks and costumes. Without the dancers and other entertainments to create the earthy, tribal world we’ve come to expect from Shpongle, the show fell just short of great.