Las Vegas treats electronic act SBTRKT with surprising reverence

Aaron Jerome, the Man Behind the Mask, rocked the House of Blues on October 18.
Max Plenke

Three and a half stars

SBTRKT October 18, House of Blues.

I am, like many before and beside me, a SBTRKT fan as of the 2011 Little Dragon collab “Wildfire.” And I wasn’t, before tonight, aware that Aaron Jerome, the Man Behind the Mask, played with a band on live sets. But he does. Holy sh*t, does he. On Saturday, when he took to the House of Blues—the first visit ever, the first stateside tour in two years—he brought with him a drummer and a percussionist to create a trio that shook the low end of those subwoofers to their very being, no doubt challenging their robotic capabilities to submerge a few hundred kids in bass thicker than molasses.

The crowd itself was refreshing. There’s a bizarre phenomenon in Las Vegas in which crowds demand The Old Stuff, uninterested in the album on which an act is actually touring in the first place. Not the case with these. They cheered, uninhibited, for singles “New Dorp. New York” and “Higher,” from 2014’s Wonder Where We Land, with fervor similar or close to the showing of “Hold On” and “Trials of the Past,” both from 2011’s self-titled record.

The 90-minute set, including a live version of SBTRKT’s Radiohead remix of “Lotus Flower” as an encore, had its share of dull moments (how much energy can musicians exhibit while quarantined behind synthesizer command centers?). But overall, It was the kind of producer show that every producer should strive to create: High energy in the majority, soulful execution, and a cool video display. SBTRKT brought it all. Long live SBTRKT.

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