Going to a concert on Valentine’s Day is a great outing for couples that have similar tastes in music, but for others it’s a great place to get drunk and dance into a sweating frenzy. A sold out crowd gathered at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall on Friday night for an evening of sophisticated electronic music and were all treated to a rare display of showmanship for its genre.
L.A. duo Phantoms offered up a passable opening set, remixing the likes of Arcade Fire, Tame Impala, and FKA Twigs to some success. But it wasn’t until Com Truise, aka Seth Haley, took the stage that the night sparked to life. Standing amidst an enormous, pentagonal, Simon Says light display, the New York DJ brushed into his most recent full-length, last year’s In Decay, before moving into the more popular and danceable tracks from his stunning 2011 debut, Galactic Melt.
“Brokendate” and “VHS Sex” went over well with the crowd, who gyrated in unison and were more than appreciative of the earnest energy that Haley brought to his live set. Initially, I was unsure how Com Truise’s bass music would transition into the live environment, but Haley’s enthusiasm and knack for tweaking older material added a depth that cannot be found in an mp3 file or one of many myriad streams.
By the time Haley dipped into his new Wave 1 EP, the crowd was 110% sold on the synth-heavy sci-fi vibes he embraced. “Subsonic” and Joel Ford collaboration “Declination” elicited the widest response, adding further credence to Haley’s progressive trek into new tempos and sounds as of late. He’s not alone on that road to discovery.
What’s astonishing is how a set like Com Truise’s never feels like it has to end. Throughout the night, the crowd was in an aural warp speed, much thanks to the modern set up Haley worked behind. In fact, during the set’s peak, one might assume they weren’t in Chicago but the Hotline Miami club scene sans the gratuitous violence. It was sexy, dangerous, and vibrant — what better valentine does one need?