DâM-FunK at Pitchfork Music Festival 2010: Live review
Photos: Chandler West
As the extensive set-up for DâM-FunK's set ushered its way onto the Balance stage, I thought maybe we'd get a proper electro-funk performance living up to his studio recordings. Too often, electronic producers dial it in and just hide behind their laptops, merely pressing play. Turns out this set-up was such that it led to over twenty minutes of downtime as band members and tech crew alike trouble shot getting the show back on track.
It was at that point, as DâM mouthed "my bad" after a stage hand fixed his computer settings for him, that I knew we were doomed. Finally he kicked into his West Coast rap-meets-cyber funk with half of his time squandered. Adding insult to injury, DâM-FunK led off with a rap over a backing track and left the stage to let a non-present recorded rapper, take us through the song's third verse. Really? His bandmates eventually joined him on stage and from there we got some of the cosmic jams we'd all queued up in the sun to hear. The inclusion of a keytar half way through appeased the crowd's rightfully short attention span. DâM-FunK encouraged us all to throw our funk signs up and that was the last time that the onlookers showed any real enthusiasm.
Reminiscent of James Brown—there were plenty of funk-style "uhhs" peppered in his lyrics—and Rick James, DâM still came off as a bit of an imitation; a fan/DJ of moderate talent filling the void in that style of music on the contemporary market. There was a moment, on the song "Mirrors," where he stopped and reflected, "I don't give a fuck what Mel Gibson is doing," encouraging us to worry about our damn selves. Maybe DâM-FunK should take his own lyrics to heart and concentrate on sprucing up his live show.
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