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Review: Shpongle, Desert Dwellers at Lafayette Theatre



I swear tour names fit the sound and vibe of each show perfectly and the Museum of Consciousness tour was no exception. Simon Posford, better known as the front man of Shpongle, arrived at the Lafayette Theatre in support of his latest album Museum of Consciousness, hints the tour name.

Posford's music really does put your mind at ease. Psychedelic-trance, psybient or pystrance; call it what you want. His music opens up your mind to a point where you are free to develop your own ideas, images and meanings. And Posford gave the crowd a long time to open up their minds. In what was probably the longest set I've ever witnessed, he played for more than 90 minutes, not including a ten-minute encore.

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The best way to describe Shpongle's sound would be chill-out, peaceful trance music that soothes all of life's worries; everything else doesn't matter. With songs about DMT, reality and consciousness, the tunes were all about waking up. The cool thing about Posford's music is that it doesn't need lyrics to convey a meaning; you're able to make your own lyrics, creativity is encouraged. However in the song "No Turn Unstoned," which is an awesome song title, the phrase 'reality is ripping at the seams' really struck me.

But let's shy away from the music for a second and discuss the insanely trippy stage setup that Posford had. He performed in the middle of what looked like two big bunny ears with three eyes on each side, which constantly lit up and changed colors. It was a carbon copy replica of the album art for his Museum of Consciousness record. You could easily get lost in the visuals, staring at them for what seemed like days but in reality was only minutes or seconds.

The Desert Dwellers opened for Posford and played one hell of a preview set. I'll stick with the mind theme here and describe some of the places their music took me. A majority of the duo's song's sounded like I was strolling through an Egyptian market during the days of pharaohs and pyramids; a "Walk Like an Egyptian" kind of feel to it. Add in the fact that they both used profound hand motions and it truly felt like I was part of a ceremonial walk through a desert.

But their music wasn't repetitive. The very next song took me halfway across the world to the Autobahn where an upbeat, high-energy trance song would have been perfect for a joy ride in a million dollar sports car on the illustrious no speed limit highway. The spontaneity of the set kept me on my toes by looking forward to what I could relate the next song too, sort of like a game show.

With a great setup and a sound system that will put your ears into a coma like state, the Lafayette Theatre once again proved why it's one of my favorite venues around. A significantly full crowd gave off a large concert feel even though there was still ample room for hooping, dancing and any other bodily movements your mind might come up with. Can't lie though, the architect could have designed the restrooms better - elbow to elbow urinal usage makes for some interesting conversations.

Mind of consciousness people; keep it out of the gutter.


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