Sometimes Just One Album Is Enough

March 8th, 2013

Django Django – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 7, 2013

The magic number was two last night as Django Django—the band with two first names—played their second sold-out show, and second show of their first coast-to-coast US tour, at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It was a lesson in symmetries and dichotomies, with the band taking the stage in matching-set shirts, in front of a backdrop that was two sets of old, vinyl slat blinds. As the show began, two crescent-moon smiley faces were projected on the blinds: a little bit silly, a little bit creepy. Like on their self-titled album, Django Django began with a swell of bird whistles and a building low-end roar of noise, which exploded into “Hail Bop,” the band and the audience wasting no time getting going.

The show was essentially a live-action run-through of their acclaimed album, each track hinging on pulsating rhythms, perfect three-part harmonies and infectious synthesizer grooves, one song tumbling into the next. The sound, like the lights and computerized projections mixing with glow rings and incandescent bulbs, was a hybrid of high and low-tech, like a tribal drum circle taking place inside a video game. Each member of the quartet spent some time on lo-fi percussion while the entire crowd danced to impossible-to-resist songs like “Waveforms” and “Zumm Zumm.”

On the flip side, a couple moments featured three guys on keyboards, the layered sounds filling the room with delicious melodies. At the close of each tune, lead singer Vincent Neff endearingly raised his arms in triumph like his team had just scored on a perfectly executed play. The set seemed to go by in a flash, highlighted by climactic versions of “Skies Over Cairo” and “Default” toward the end. The band and the crowd seemed to want to keep going, but as Neff exclaimed: “We’ve only got one album!” That’s OK, they played the heck out of it, and if Thursday night was any indication, album No. 2 could be magic.
—A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood |