February 21, 2011

Fresh, Clean, Sterile

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On Sunday night the sparse crowd of scruffy white guys at the Haunt were brought to a hypnotic state of head bumping and shoulder swaying by the spacey beats of electronica trio, Two Fresh. Two Fresh consists of twin brothers, Sherwyn and Kendrick Nicholls, and drummer, Colby Buckler. The Nicholls twins handled the majority of the music with their DJ equipment, while Buckler drummed along, providing a big beat to the twins’ electronic loops.

Two Fresh played good dance music, but during most of the show, I felt like they could have been doing more. Their set consisted of many explosive and interesting instances with longer, dreamier sequences in between. Occasionally, Two Fresh played distorted rap lyrics over their beats, which was the best part of the concert because the lyrics focused the music and made it more energetic. This worked especially well when they incorporated the lyrics of Big K.R.I.T.’s “Return of 4eva,” into one of their mixes and at the finale when they played their goodbye segment over the lyrics to the “Cheers,” theme song. During the last part of the show, they played the theme song of “Cheers,” a tune weirder than anything else used all night, proving that they were capable of doing weird well. It left me wishing that they had made more interesting music choices throughout the rest of the show.

Despite some offbeat choices in music, Two Fresh’s lack of stage presence rendered the show boring. They came on without saying a word and remained silent for their entire hour and a half set until they said goodnight. The showmanship was left up to a light display behind Two Fresh and the glow of the Macbooks in front of them. The multicolored bars of the light display would flash between green, blue and red to the beat, and at particularly exciting moments of the set, a strobe light was activated to indicate that it was time to get wild. The light changes were well choreographed and they added an ambiance to the show reminiscent of the imagery used by Daft Punk. The dress of Two Fresh did not accompany the light show, and as a consequence they became more or less invisible once the light show took over. I understand that Two Fresh’s quiet stage presence let their music speak for itself and let the crowd dance endlessly, but a little banter on their part would have helped them focus their energy and keep the show more exciting. Their get on, get off attitude about the show made it less interesting than it could have been and reminded me of an opening act more than a headliner.

Don’t get me wrong, Two Fresh played music that was undeniably fun to dance to. It was even unique and exciting at times. It was disappointing, though, that they exhibited the capability to combine their bass-heavy electronica and live drums with distorted rap lyrics and samples from off-beat western movies, but did so sparsely. As a result, it did not seem as continuous as it could have, with a bit more consistency. They never seemed to push their sound outside of the box of flowing electronic rhythms, and this apparent lack of effort or ingenuity was exemplified well by Two Fresh’s inclusion of a live drummer. While the drummer provide a bigger sound, he only played one drum solo at the beginning of the show and was not well showcased.

Perhaps it was because they played on Sunday night, or because the Haunt is a smaller venue, or if Two Fresh is just not spectacular live. The show went by the books, and the members of Two Fresh were not having enough fun on stage to make the concert very engaging.

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Original Author: cody ernst