By John Vollinger
The very last thing one could say about the SoDown show at Hodi’s last Thursday would be that it was slow to start.
Krushendo unassumingly took to the stage, and shouted a lively welcome into the mic that immediately got the attention of everyone in the building. With a guitar slung across his back like some medieval sword, he swiftly breathed life into the room with a style both immediately familiar and welcome. Though Krushendo’s set was far from one-note, much of it consisted of the large, anthemic tracks which have gained much popularity in recent years, exhibited superbly with tracks such as a remix of Galantis’ “Runaway (U&I)” and San Holo’s “Light”. Variety was certainly the name of the game on Thursday evening, however, and Krushendo was no exception to this, incorporating some live guitar-playing which effortlessly soared over the beats, and even bringing in some elements of dubstep and metal for a faster, heavier pace at times. All in all Krushendo lived up to his name, as the set felt like one sustained crescendo that built into an ever-increasing excitement in the crowd.
No excitement was lost between Krushendo exiting and Statik taking over, the latter introducing himself to the crowd with Cypress Hill’s “How I Could Just Kill a Man” to keep the party going. Like Krushendo, Statik also wielded a guitar on stage, but chose to use it as a more subdued piece of layering within the beats in the beginning, before moving to a more pronounced style later on. What was most enjoyable about the live guitar element in Statik’s set was how much it seemed almost integral to the set itself; sometimes the guitar seemed to be used as more a complement to the beats, but others it seemed to do quite the opposite by taking a more assertive role in the song with the beats acting as more an accompaniment.
Where Statik seemed to shine the most was in the progression of his set, starting with a lively party vibe, and then dropping into a softer, more ethereal rhythm, only to bring the crowd back up to some “trap” music towards the end. All of that, rounded out with the inclusion of some live rap, made for a great movement of energy through the time he spent on the stage. Movement, after all, is essential to a concert, but it’s always nice to see it exhibited in the crafting of a musical journey, as well as in the crowd.
SoDown was the main event of the evening, and wasted no time bringing a majestic presence to the stage with Aretha Franklin’s soulful “At Last” as his opening track. This dropped immediately into some beats that got the whole crowd moving, and this pattern continued on much throughout the evening. SoDown was able to weave into his electronic funk a large assortment of disparate tracks—such as “Build Me Up Buttercup” or Pink Floyd’s “Money”¬—resulting in a fine, groovy blanket that covered the crowd. Unlike the openers, SoDown did not have a guitar in his arsenal, instead opting for a saxophone which absolutely drove the crowd wild. It was not hard to see why it had this effect either, as the saxophone has the full-bodied sound which careens through the music with ease, and is versatile enough to playfully tip-toe over the beats as well. The crowd was also lucky enough to see the lovely Carly Lynn accompany SoDown for a live performance of a song for which they collaborated.
On top of everything, the visuals surrounding SoDown—including an almost kaleidoscopic mixture of the heads of Prince, and a giant electrified eyeball—combined with the music to create a multi-sensory experience that made for a thoroughly impressed Hodi crowd.