RAC The Observatory April 9, 2014 How does one of the most prolific and talented remix producers working today go on a live tour? He grabs his MacBook, a magical music box, and finds a keyboardist, bassist and drummer and takes them all on the road.
André Anjos, better known as the man behind RAC (formerly the Remix Artist Collective) played the Observatory last night in support of his new album, Strangers, which was released last week. It was his second time playing at the Observatory in less than a year, but his first in the main room as his last trip to Orange County for some reason saw him playing the Constellation Room after multiple sold out shows in LA.
Despite the computerized nature of most RAC tracks, the night started like any other rock show, with Joywave and Ghost Beach opening. The two NY-state-based acts have been supporting RAC for the latest chunk of their tour, and warmed the growing early Wednesday night crowd with slowly building sets of mellow but danceable indie rock.
Early attendees were mostly concert newcomers, probably at their first shows, older fans who haven't been to a concert in awhile, or high schoolers with nothing to better to do than showing up early. As the night grew later, the crowd evolved into a mix of every Orange County concert going stereotypes you can name, from the obnoxious South County schoolers and bro-tanked "ravers" to the young Asian professionals and chipsters.
At about 10:30 p.m., RAC took the stage.
The RAC set started out incredibly strong with three of their most recognizable remixes, Two Door Cinema Club's "Something Good Can Work," Lana Del Rey's "Blue Jeans," and Foster the People's "Houdini." Though vocals were sampled, the performance was still strong, led by Anjos on electric guitar.
After their strong opening, Joywave's lead singer came back to stage to perform live vocals for a remix of a Joywave song, completely changing the energy of the crowd. RAC's performance is surprisingly strong for an act with (most of the time) no vocalist, but with live vocals (the Joywave song and most of the originals off of Strangers) the energy on stage rises to an entirely level.
The rest of the set was a mix of the remixes that brought RAC the notoriety it has today and originals from the newly released album, a good balance between a good past and a (most likely) successful future. After leaving the stage for the first time, the band returned to perform a one-song encore, playing -- of course -- one of the strongest singles off of Strangers, Let Go.
And with that, the band left the stage and a happily buzzing crowd to head towards their next stop, the already sold out El Rey, and a much brighter future.
The Crowd: One of the most mixed crowds I've ever seen. Festival queens, tiny Asian girls, hip indie duos, awkward first dates, Chipsters, grandmothers, gangly white kids, everyone was there.
Random Notebook Dump: Obnoxious sarcastic high schoolers who think they're the shit are some of the most annoying concert goers.. ever.
Overheard: "I'm pretty sure this is the last band. I mean, I think this show is dedicated to RAC."
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Critical Bias: I've been listening to RAC since he was "they" and they were actually the Remix Artist Collective.
Partial Setlist: Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work (RAC Remix) Lana Del Rey - Blue Jeans (RAC Remix) Foster the People - Houdini (RAC Remix) Joywave - Tongues (RAC Remix) RAC - Tear You Down Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero (RAC Remix) Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Home (RAC Remix) RAC - Repeating Motions The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition (RAC Remix) RAC - Seventeen (ft. Pink Feathers)
Encore: RAC - Let Go (with MNDR)