Justice at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 8/7/12

Categories: Reviews

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Britt Chester
Justice last night at Red Rocks.


JUSTICE @ RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE | 8.7.12

See Also: Justice, March 2008 profile

Let's review last night's Justice set by the numbers. The number of towering Marshall amps outfitted with LED lights: eighteen. The estimated rank of those bad boys on the volume scale: eleven. The number of smooth-operator Frenchmen in matching Justice World Tour '12 track jackets with matching confident smarm: two. The number of inches they stood apart from each other: three. The number of times they genuinely rocked: countless. The number of times they did anything truly noteworthy: zero.

Although it was gritty, showy and consistently seat-quaking, last night's performance from French duo Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé packed significantly more attitude than entertainment. Perhaps this is to be expected: Although frequently re-imagined in stunning new mash-ups and remixes, recreating Justice's two albums of material requires little investment aside from a few twists and tucks of its creators' fingers against their (copious) equipment. The difference between listening to them in a Honda Civic and driving that Civic to Morrison to hear them live is measured mostly in spectacle.

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Britt Chester
Justice last night at Red Rocks.

From the first song -- a dark, off-kilter retelling of the national anthem -- the duo delivered an entrancing, if bottled, set of cult-like drama. Tucked into the center of two Marshall stacks connected by a glowing cross, de Rosnay and Augé drew no attention to themselves, instead funneling it entirely into waves of fractious sound as they lightly tapped their right feet in sync and bobbed their bowed heads to the unfaltering noise. While de Rosnay blew smoke from the end of his many cigarettes, Augé blew his Christ-like locks out of his face. Occasionally, during a particularly passionate moment, one of the men lifted his fist into the air.

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Britt Chester
Justice last night at Red Rocks.

From the faux-patriotic opening note, the guys transitioned quickly and deeply into darker territory with the ominous opening notes of "Genesis." As the stage cameras panned in on their shadowed faces, smoke rose from the sides of the stage, pierced only by the flashing light of the band's trademark white cross. The set traveled nimbly across first-album hits including "Phantom Pt. 1," "DVNO" and "Stress," all deftly turned loose and reinterpreted with added chaos across selections from last year's less fan-friendly Audio, Video, Disco.

Even mega-jam "D.A.N.C.E." took on more serious notes refracted across the band's expansive, bass-heavy live presence. As the guys twisted and turned knobs, heads focused down, to create sounds like so many full-orchestra screwdrivers and lawnmowers, lights filled the amphitheatre from all angles. When a song called for machine-gun bursts of warped synth, linear white lights mimicked the same spasms.

Location Info

Map

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

18300 W. Alameda Parkway, Morrison, CO

Category: General

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5 comments
thespot84
thespot84

From your review it sounds like you didn't move your feet or your hips once during the show. How sad. Those of us dancing wildly fortunately did not have the time nor did we care to focus on exactly what justice was doing with our eyes, because our attention was focused on maintaining our balance and avoiding those next to us trying to do the same thing. Circ de Soleil could have been performing on the stage and I wouldn't have given two shits.

 

On the music itself, Justice simply doesn't need gimmick. It's music stands on its own. The artfulness that I witnessed was exactly in the way Justice graced us with their classics while mixing things and changing things up enough to remind me that I wasn't listening in a Honda Civic. The sum of the show, exemplified by my reluctance to stand for the day following, was much greater than the sum of its parts.

suckitbritt
suckitbritt

I didn't realize good music was decided by the amount of movement that the presenting artist made.  Reading this was a waste of my time.

BigFatSteve
BigFatSteve

I think Its worth mentioning the weird spectacle in which Xavier pointed at the sky for ten minutes, then played quarter notes on a bass drum repeatedly for another 10 before walking off the stage to boos. It seemed like there was equipment failure or Red Rocks made them turn it down because after they left the sound was never the same.

Bpsycle
Bpsycle

Passion Pit had to cancel, so Rusko and Boombox were added to the bill last minute.

Rob Strong Paw Ruby
Rob Strong Paw Ruby

Wasn't Passion Pit supposed to open for them? Or visa versa? What happened with that?

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