Last night, the Brainfeeder crew invaded Oakland at the Fox Theater. The packed line-up was led by their captain, Flying Lotus, who brought along The Gaslamp Killer, Teebs and Jeremiah Jae to help him. The Fox Theater was an apropos venue, the intricate wall and ceiling architecture matched the ethereal vibes for the night.
Unfortunately, I missed Jeremiah Jae and walked in just as Teebs was closing out his set, a definite bummer. Jeremiah Jae is someone I’ve been meaning to look up, his hazy mix of cérébral and hood styles amalgamates into a very unique take on hip-hop. Teebs’ sound is so warm and intimate, and hearing it on such a large sound system is always an experience.
The mothefucking Gaslamp Killer was up next. A true character and performer, GLK immediately got in the groove dropping a carnage of bass, heavy synths and hard-hitting drums. His selection went from electronic to hip-hop, as well as choice tracks from the Brainfeeder crew and original music from Breakthrough, GLK’s own debut LP. Near the end of his set, GLK took to the mic, and in his own intense and earnest style voiced his respect for Oakland as a progressive, revolutionary community.
He did the usual “I’m done but not really” encore fake out but afterwards, in a moment of on-stage candor, realized he actually had more time to fill and added an impromptu extension to his set. This turned out to be a highlight of the night. He threw down brand-new GLK compositions and old classics in an off the cuff extended set.
There wasn’t much of a wait for the night’s headliner, Brainfeeder captain Flying Lotus. He played from behind an opaque screen where Dr. Strangeloop was projecting his mind-bending visuals. A few weeks ago, when he supported Animal Collective at the Hollywood Bowl, FlyLo’s stage set-up seemed meek on such a magnanimous stage, but last night at the Fox it was perfect. His screen took up a majority of the stage, the visuals were clear and vibrant from pretty much any angle in the venue, and the sound matched the performance.
His 60+ minute set was heavy on material from his latest album Until The Quiet Comes but it was also comprehensive of his work all the way back to his debut project, 1983. He also included his Frank Ocean remix, FlyLo live staples like his Mr. Oizo remix, and unreleased cult classics like the monster track “Flotus,” that we’re streaming today in reverence of last night’s event.
In the peak of his set, Lotus pulled a Jay Electronica and jumped into the crowd, celebrating the night’s energy with the people who came out to join him and his crew. He closed out with a personal favorite, “Physics for Everyone,” before coming back out to deliver a rousing 15-minute encore.
The 2800-capacity venue was mostly full by the time Lotus and his L.A.-comrades finished their assault. The crowd was captivated and galvanized, and it was clear that Brainfeeder is the champion sound.