As Pennsylvanian trio Innerpartysystem take the stage at Corsica Studios, the edgiest nightclub south of London’s river Thames, it feels as if they have come full circle.
Once a band that would sit comfortably on a punk rock bill or supporting nu-metallers Linkin Park, they’ve returned to the kinds of sweat-encrusted warehouse spaces where they cut their teeth in Philadelphia. But this time they’re armed with a new made-for-the-dancefloor set – and they’re all the better for it.
Instead of performing as a full band, as they did a night before at an intimate showcase at Madame JoJos, frontman Patrick, drummer Jarred and guitarist Kris unleash an hour-long live DJ show. It’s crammed with gems from their forthcoming EP Never Be Content, with Patrick on the mic, clutching its stand intensely like a flat cap-wearing Ian Curtis.
A backdrop of flashing LED lights in place of their lightshow helps to whip up a rave atmosphere – all that’s missing is a smoke machine to further confuddle your senses.
While some may have been disappointed that this wasn’t the balls-out live stuff they were expecting, all crotch-thrusting and power lunges, it’s hard not to get swept away with the kinetic force of Innerpartysystem’s anthemic electro mash-ups.
In fact, they look and sound just as comfortable working through these party-focused selections. Despite feeling the burn from last night’s after-party, the three bounce and flex behind the decks like Swedish House Mafia, bearing the same superstar DJ-sized attitude.
It’s significant of the band’s recent intrepid trek even further into electronic territory, exploring fresh dance music trends and lacing them with their signature blend of hard-hitting basslines and lose-your-shit breakdowns.
Here, their songs ride on an unrelenting electro-techno beat throughout that Boys Noize wouldn’t turn his nose up at. It’s positively face-crushing underneath big-hitters And Together and Don’t Stop, which bear IPS’s trademark brooding frustration and industrialism that sets them apart from their rock ’n’ rave contemporaries.
Later, they descend into a breaks-y fidget-house womp before a Godzilla-strength re-edit of their latest single, American Trash, builds up the suspense and then erupts into a shower of grotty dubstep wonkiness – a sound they’ve found a particular affinity with – with lush acid blips fluttering on the top. It’s jackin’, to say the least, like young and choppy electro-step but with a moshpit mentality.
Crucially, though, tonight shows off IPS’s heavyweight – and, perhaps, underrated – mixmastery. Slivers of their well-known remixes hammer in and out amid a cavalcade of Justice-style strings, funky slap-bass and euphoric Empire of the Sun-alike breakdowns – oh, and a rather outdated sample of Mylo’s Drop the Pressure – thrown in for good measure.
Still, even their Gerard Way-aping fans skulking around at the back of the crowd throw their hands up. Towards the end, their version of Ladyhawke’s Paris Is Burning, which paves the way for their similarly disillusioned new song It’s Not Getting Any Better, is a distinct highlight.
Thanks guys: our inner party systems certainly need refuelling after this pogotastic riot.
On Thursday an intimate crowd were treated to a live performance from Red Bull Records signing InnerPartySystem in the lounge area of Red Bull HQ. Armed with a space-age looking Roland Gaia, iPods with beat making apps and a microphone Patrick, Jared and Chris performed a live version of American Trash, which you can download here or listen below.
- Visit the official InnerPartySystem website
- Visit the official Red Bull Records site
- More Music news on Redbull.com