Monday, August 1, 2011


This is my first time at Double Happiness, a bar-slash-venue located in downtown Columbus on Front and Fulton. It's actually rather swanky, and the theme of the decor and general vibe is Orient - hell, not only were there paper lamps, reed plants and amber tinted dome lamps, fucking House of Flying Daggers was playing on the big screens at the bar area. (Should have taken a photo of that, the dimly lit bar area is gorgeous.) Originally, the set up of KVLT V was going to have two different acts play either on the patio or the indoor stage throughout the first half of the fest - but as I arrived to get my wristband, Scott told me that residents were complaining that the sound was too loud. Whoever was complaining should have thought twice before signing a lease next to a bar/venue.

As a result, the time slots got pushed back by an hour and the headlining trio took the night around 10 p.m. Three of my lads and I didn't feel as terrible about the Dirty Franks hot dog rush hour that held us back (though it was tasty), but unfortunately we still arrived late and caught the last ten minutes of Columbus's Dirty Current's set: a a great mix of dark, crunchy bass bumpers that I feel in love with back when I saw them open for Deathface at Skully's. Despite the night being rather young for the dancefloor crawlers, the venue was half filled up - a positive sign for the fest as it's a crowd that makes the night.

I†† performed under minimal glowing light made convenient by the pre-placed lamps. This was my first time seeing the married duo live - let alone hearing the material. It was a drastic step from the brazening DJs before them, and it took that crowd a while to adjust from the environment change. This was the first time that I've witnessed the theremin being put to use for a live performance. It was both entrancing and fascinating to see the oscillating eerie hums added to washing sounds of minimal noise best described as the tortured, self-flagellating voices in your head.

It's no secret that the main anticipation of my night was seeing Chicago-to-Brooklyn transplant Gatekeeper play in my home state. I saw them headline Pendu night back in spring break with Streetwalker (1/2 of White Car) and Innergaze, so I was curious to see what their set would be like under the variables of touring and a crowd that blends a lot of the regulars of the Columbus eletronic dance music scene - a little more bright colors in the crowd of transparent black and denim. Albeit these circumstances, out came the rapidly pulsating strobe lights, abusing fog machine, and headlights well needed - perplexing otherwise - for this dark duo. Somewhere within the first half, their set got cut off during what I think was "Storm Column" for reasons I was unable to discern after investigating within the crowds. When everything went back into gear, the crowd erupted back to its raving state and I was in my self-sexual trance until blue tanktop guy plowed to the front to hard grind against this girl with so much force, he grinded against me and my goat-masked friend - up to a point to which I was not having it. Gatekeeper played a lot of what I assume was new material for upcoming releases and ended their set with "Chains" (yess) and "Giza" (yessx2).

I was with two friends who saw this tour in their current residence of Louisville, Kentucky. One of them told me about his funny predicament with Travis Egedy (stage alias, Pictureplane) and how he was mean mugging him due to the two showing up at the venue wearing the same parental advisory hat. This is why you Google search these performances prior to attending a show, preventing wearing what may be the stage/tour costume of a performer, and preventing being on the shit list for the night haha. But I digress. Real was indeed the feeling of the night, and Travis did a great job balancing his engagement (though from a distance - if that makes any sense) with the audience and even submerging himself into a moping euphoria through his own music. The glitch-hopping synths and drones are accompanied by Egedy's serenading breaths of soulful melodies that makes Pictureplane, and this entire set so dreamy. I wasn't too familiar with him prior to this night except for "Body Mod" and the "Real is the Feeling" music video, as well as an explosive amount of coverage he seems to be getting from music and art culture publications. That night I feel in love with the soundtrack to my future dreams. Get the "Thee Physical" full-length when you have a chance, I purchased this at the show on a cassette. Oh yeah, there were gimp dancers who, aside from the death glares they casted at the crowd, were completely removed and unresponsive to their environment except within the confinements of their duty to dance. I don't know why I thought this was slightly terrifying. I stuck around for 3/4 of the set because it got to the point where the poorly vented venue resulted in waterfalls of sweat, and I had to get out to regain sanity.

I unfortunately had to miss Teengirl Fantasy because it was hitting 2 a.m. and we had not only a long drive home ahead of us, but a mad craving for Taco Bell. (A very rare food mood for this health freak.) The Gatekeeper boys were doing lighting for this group, so I'd like to get the 411 on how all this went down. The drive home almost became a drive to our grave beds because when we got close to Nelsonville on 32, there was fog as thick as milk for miles.

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