Mouse on Mars at Summit Music Hall, 2/23/13

Categories: Concert Reviews

Tom Murphy
Mouse on Mars on stage at the Summit Music Hall in Denver.


As visuals flashed, streamed, scrolled, blinked, increased in luminosity and otherwise conspired to reflect the jittery, glitchy, sometimes manic and always dynamic flow of sounds being produced by Mouse on Mars, Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner stood behind a bank of synths and other devices manipulating things. The two injected a visceral quality into the music with with their focused engagement in the constantly shifting soundscape. Tomas seemed the most physically active, occasionally taking off his glasses during certain parts of the set, as he moved with the beats as much as the people dancing in the crowd.

See also:
- Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars on how there's no rules for behaving to his music
- Blasting off with Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars
- Ethan Converse of Flashlights on the bands early acclaim

Tom Murphy
Mouse on Mars at Summit Music Hall

Three screens provided the visuals with a larger screen in the background and one in front of both St. Werner and Toma. In some moments, it was like the clips were rendered with a 3D double line, with a two color effect on each of the lines, making for a kind of disorienting quality that made you think your eyes weren't working right for a few seconds. But this visual cognate of the music emphasized the way these guys use multiple layers of sound and rhythm. Often more than two types of electronic bass modulated in ways to change tone and texture and specific rhythms inside the beat.

Tom Murphy
Mouse on Mars at Summit Music Hall

At the end of the set, St. Werner brought out a hand-cranked siren, and he fed that sound into the sampler; he and Toma used that as a launching off point into one of the best tracks of the night. The percussion sounded like a hollow, hard plastic item being struck rapidly by a small metal bar. Then a pounding, electronic beat accompanied it alongside a kind of thick, fuzzy sound that sounded like it was being put through a phaser to increase the effect as the tempo accelerated.

The pace reached an especially heady moment when the beat dropped out and a gorgeous, ethereal, soothing tone drew a gently melodic figure. That halcyon passage lasted what seemed like minutes but the beat dropped back in, and the song was over. The guys thanked us, and Werner, whether it was then or earlier, said it was very worth it to come to Denver. But the crowd wasn't done and the duo got back up for an encore with a syncopated, intermittent beat that evolved into something far more steady and driving.

Location Info


Larimer Lounge

2721 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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