DJ Shadow: Raging for a Cause
On Tuesday December 11 at 10:15 pm DJ Shadow brought his All Basses Covered tour to the stage at Brooklyn Bowl. He opened up by saying that tonight, “would be something New York has never heard before at a DJ Shadow show.” Shadow warned that the music would not be a lot of his classic mixes, not the same old, same old, and the music would be experimental. “I want you to get your money’s worth,” he exclaimed. He wanted to make sure all his basses were covered.
The crowd was excited for the music to kick off. Throughout the show, Shadow played hip hop, dubstep, drum and bass, reggae, and rap. The music had a very dark tone, often with metallic or robotic sounds, but definitely not overkill. The bass was so thick sometimes, my vocal chords rattled and my stomach churned. Shadow didn’t use vinyl, but he did use turntable techniques and had an electric percussion pad, even doing a little solo for the audience. He built up the energy from slower beats to crazy dance party by the end.
The music was weird, wild, and funky. Shadow stopped the music several times to talk with the audience about his music and his motivation. The small venue that is Brooklyn Bowl made it an intimate experience. The last time I saw DJ Shadow, it was amongst a crowd of thousands and he was just a speck on the stage in the distance. This time, I was a mere ten feet away from him and he was talking directly to the audience, directly to me. It was an amazing musical experience with a giant, one that I will never forget.
But did you know that DJ Shadow is also an Oxfam supporter? DJ Shadow works with one of the world’s leading organizations to find sustainable means of fighting hunger, poverty, and social injustice. Shadow visited Kenya 2007 as a guest of Oxfam’s to learn more about the face of poverty. Shadow works with Oxfam to promote music as a means toward conflict and poverty resolution. To raise awareness about their current campaign GROW, DJ Shadow has generously allowed for Oxfam to host a table at all of his shows in the US. So not only did DJ Shadow put on a unique musical experience, he also worked to do good. I assure you, nothing feels better than raging for a cause.
Shadow’s short US tour is coming to a close, finishing up this weekend in Florida and Georgia and finally Dec 29 in San Francisco. Buy tickets here. If you’re interested in more information on how to volunteer at shows with Oxfam, email Brittany at OxfamActionCorps.firstname.lastname@example.org.