LIVE REPORTRED MARQUEE8/21 SAT
THE ALEXX delivered a visually orgasmic show to an intimate crowd
THE ALEXX’s show was both diverse in genre and visually captivating. The set at Red Marquee was a surprisingly intimate one – roughly about fifty people in attendance under the great big tent that usually holds a couple hundred audience members on any other year of the festival.
Perhaps being in the same time slot as Saturday’s headliner King Gnu made for fierce competition, but that this just means that the hardcore fans at the Red Marquee were there in full support and ready to have fun.
The band mixed a lot of electronic grunge, dance, and alternative sounds at the beginning while projecting high definition videos of Tokyo in the background. From Shinjuku train station to Asakusa’s famous Senso-ji Temple, even showing the Olympic banner in the videos – the video illustrated the surprising deserted scenes and streets of Tokyo from the past year.
Vocalist Tonton’s voice was soft, yet, assertive. Her singing made you feel both safe and invincible. As the music continued, deep house beats were added to the mix and the sprawled out crowd began dancing harder. The bass kept beating at a perfect tempo that it rattles your whole body to the core.
This is the Red Marquee we’ve known for years and the one we’ve been missing this year so far.
The background video shifted to showcase a narrative, still set in Tokyo. Two people drunk on a taxi. They’re having a bender. There’s a can of gasoline being poured everywhere. And then….the screen turned bright orange with flames. Right on cue with the flames, the vocals and the guitar got louder, growing ever louder to compete with the flames which are overtaking the entire screen. The beaming lights turned red and waved all inside the Red Marquee tent.
On the screen, words appeared one by one: Freedom. Joy. Expansion. Exactly right as each word spelled itself out, Tonton perfectly synced up and sung them without looking behind at the screen.
The music became more experimental and Tonton harmonized over her guitarist and drummer with incredible operatic vocals. It can’t be stressed enough how incredible her opera singing is. As if that wasn’t jaw-dropping enough, she began to play the five crystal bowls on the table. With each swirl, their noise grew louder and louder.
An image of a pendulum appeared on the screen. The drum’s beat kept flawlessly in sync with the speed of the pendulum, even when it changed abruptly.
This is to show how remarkably calculated and timed to a T everything THE ALEXX does is. Simultaneously, though, there a sense of free-flowing nature to their performance. Their set added a layer of mind-blowing visuals that can’t always be experienced at an underground techno show, which made their set all the more memorable.
[Photo: 10 All photo]