Last night, New York’s Webster Hall Studio hosted what may have been the highest concentration of NYU students in one concert venue since Flying Lotus played an NYU-only event last fall. The student-heavy audience gathered to see DJ sets by Shlohmo, LOL Boys and RL Grime–evidently, college students are really into this whole tripped-out bass music thing.
However, Shlohmo and his friends were not inclined to spin their usual rumbling low-end material. According to LOL Boy Markus Garcia, Shlohmo and RL Grime decided to establish a theme for the night: all hip-hop everything. Garcia and his co-LOL Boy, Jerome Potter, were happy to oblige but didn’t sacrifice all dance music in favor of their favorite boom-baps. The two alternated fluidly between working different parts of the hardware onstage, with the occasional help from a guy who mostly hung around the edge of the stage–in fact, there were a lot of people flanking the sides of the stage, but they mostly occupied themselves by scrunching up their faces and humping the air to express to their DJing friends just how much they were feeling a track. It was probably a lot like being at one of the house parties Shlohmo DJed back in high school, except now Shlohmo’s haircut is trendier (it’s shaved shorter on the sides than the top).
While the LOL Boys mixed some juke rhythms and brash vocal samples into the hip-hop theme, Shlohmo committed his entire set to rap and pop hits and completely abandoned his own material. He didn’t even play any Drake songs! Instead, he dropped tunes by Ja Rule (“What’s Luv”), Waka Flocka and Missy Elliott (“Pass That Dutch”). A few songs really got the crowd loose: R. Kelly’s “Ignition,” a brilliantly screwed-down version of Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle” and, most importantly, the theme song for All That. In case you forgot, that song is a serious party-starter.
“We’re all ’90s babies and shit here, right?” Shlohmo asked the crowd after he dropped “Intuition,” and everyone was like, “Ohhhhh!” “’88, ’89 tops.” Once again, the audience hollered its approval as Shlohmo said something to the effect of, “The rest of you don’t matter.”
’90s nostalgia was thick in the air at Webster Hall’s Studio, as it constituted the common ground between the performers (all of whom are about 21) and their audience (most of whom were about 21). If Shlohmo and his basshead friends ever sell out a venue like Terminal 5, it will be because a sea of their peers cheered them to the top.