Andy Stott- Pitchfork Music Festival, Union Park, Chicago, July, 2013


This show was the TRUE wild card of the weekend. I really did not think that I would find anything to relate to or even appreciate with this show simply because of the stigma I had in my head surrounding Andy Stott. I knew he employed no lyrics and was a producer of sorts who had some drone influences and normally that kind of music is not what I enjoy to listen to, not to mention see or hear live. But I wanted a really good spot to see Rustie, which was the next set so I figured why not, I might as well expose myself to something new and get a good spot for both.

The first thing that really struck me with Andy Stott’s music was the insane repetitiveness of it. I knew that most music that had anything to do with drone was repetitive but I had never heard what it would sound live. What Stott would do was he would start a very simple loop of a simple pattern of notes, nothing too special and just let it go constantly. So at the beginning of the set, it was nothing to involved. But every time he added anything, he always kept the old riff going, like he was building a castle of beats.

Beat wise, because I think the only thing I can call what his music was made up of are beats, there was a ridiculous amount of bass. Easily the most bass I had ever heard at a show and because I was about four rows from the front, I did not have the buffer of a crowd to protect my ears and body from the booming that was constantly going on throughout the set. It crashed into my body like huge sound waves and I could feel my bones shaking and my eardrums jumping up and down deep inside my ears. The rest of the beats were normally made up of high-pitched, female vocals singing monotonously and drum patterns. Mostly it was just bass, bass and more bass.

It all started out kind of slowly and honestly I kind of just stood there for the first part of the show, letting the music and bass wash over me as I attempted to drone out. But as the music got wilder and the drum parts that were part of the beats got quicker and the bass started to move a little more I began to open my eyes and watch Stott work his magic. He intently stared at his lap top and nodded his head to the music that was coming out of the speakers.

At this time I started to move my body more and more and was doing this weird thing with my hands where I clenched my fingers in something like a half fist, but didn’t make a ball and I moved my fingers up and down and side to side in time with the bass. I honestly felt like I was on some sort of drug as I let the bass start to control me. There was this guy and his dad in front of me, who at the beginning of the show had been talking about how they liked to know at least a day in advance before they were going to drop acid, and I knew they were peeking at me every now and then through out the show so I tried to act as weird as I could. Part of me thinks I was just trying to be cool but another part of me thinks that I actually did kind of successfully drone out and the bass had really taken a hold of me because there are good parts of that show where my eyes were sealed shut and my body was moving under its own accord as I swayed in time to the most unique kind of music I had ever seen live.

I am not going to lie I was in quite a trance and it was broken close to the end of the show by these four middle aged men who barged their way to the front of the stage screaming about how they had jus popped molly, all too drunk to function. They ruined the feng shui that I had achieved and I was almost mad enough to call them out but they left just as quickly as they had appeared and the bass engulfed my mind again.


About J.STOR

Music= Lyf
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