I was familiar with Manic Focus after seeing him open for fellow All Good Record label artists, The Floozies and GRiZ at Electric Forest 2016. This time Manic Focus took main stage at The Blue Note with Linear Symmetry opening.
I wasn’t as familiar with Linear Symmetry, a band composed of keyboards, drums, violin, and some powerful vocals. I looked them up before the show to see what they were about and although I liked a few of their songs, I was really hoping for something more heavy-hitting.
They turned out to be a total dark horse and played an amazing set. Their songs I listened to before the show sounded nothing like their live performance, which had a sound that almost matched that of Manic Focus. The vocals were a perfect complement to the drums. Their performance also had more of a dance feel to it than I had expected, especially when vocalist/violinist, Huma Haq jammed out as the drums broke down during their “How Deep is Your Love” cover.
After that sweet surprise of an opener, Manic Focus came on. Silence and darkness filled the theatre. The lights went up just as the beat did and the funk took over. He was ready to throw down. Lazers that went with every song illuminated the dance floor while his music provided the rhythm. The crowd went nuts and sang every word when he played his hit remix of “Dani California”.
Another crowd favorite was when he threw Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumpinng” in the mix. He really got into the throwbacks. I had stepped outside to cool off when he hit his fans with another popular mashup with Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” (my favorite) and I had to run inside to check it out.
Manic Focus was a great time, he killed his set and stayed after the show to sign autographs and take pictures. The night was a constant dance party full of some great electronic music and mashups that everyone loved…but his “I Walk the Line” cover was the best part of the night.
This post was written by Joey Morando, contributing writer for The Blue Note and Rose Blog.
Videos by Joey Morando. Photos by Bryan Pitman.