Beats Antique, Shpongle, Emancipator, and Lafa Taylor plus Archdream
Photography by Steven Philips StSteven.com, Words By Mike Mauger
I’ll be the first one to say that I’m tired of holidays getting extended play. That is to say, October is not Halloween month. I’ll give Halloween a weekend, but that’s it. So I was skeptic when, the weekend before Halloween, I roll up to the Electric Factory for the Creature Carnival and I see costumes. I should have expected it, but… I didn’t. Alas, upon arrival I realized that people were not dressed up for Halloween. People were dressed up for the Creature Carnival.
Seriously, whoever came up with the name Creature Carnival for this tour is a genius. There is no better name to describe the atmosphere of a concert featuring Beats Antique, Shpongle, Emancipator and Lafa Taylor. The freaks. Were. Out.
In the best way possible, of course. I saw costumes of all sorts. The tour actually even encouraged it, providing a link for attendees to visit online where they could choose their featured character (I would’ve gone Owl) and wear the mask as a masquerade ball. There were characters I would have sworn were part of the tour, walking around and entertaining the crowd with dice games and fun activities for the crowd, typically resulting in awkward stranger hugs. But who doesn’t love an awkward stranger hug from the heady bunch of Beats/Shpongle/Emancipator fans.
Though I thought initially Emancipator was an interest choice of supporting act, they meshed incredibly well, giving a smooth almost respite from Lafa Taylor’s upbeat party driven set. Did I mention Lafa MC’d the event, basically acting as a carnival barker? Well he did. And it was righteous.
Shpongle‘s DJ set was nothing short of extraordinary, mixing deep house with eastern influences and some hip hop, got everyone feeling like they were in a club in another country (some, maybe another planet). Then Beats Antique came on and displayed why they’re one of the best live performances out there. Percussion, rhythm, rock, and theater with dancers and acrobatics… There’s so much to see and hear you almost can’t take it all in!
If you’re looking for a show where the music and the visual and theatrical performances give each other a run for the main draw of the event, the Creature Carnival is the place to be. Or… was the place to be. Sadly, there are only a couple shows left. And they’re on the west coast. But if for some reason you’re reading this and you hate the football interferes with church on Sundays, you’ve got last chances this coming weekend!
Check out Steven’s amazing photos of this beautiful event.