Sunday, November 08, 2015

Lido Live at The Hoxton (Review)

I've finally had enough time to decompress and reflect on an absolutely amazing night, Friday at the Hoxton for Lido's live performance. It was everything you'd expect and more, particularly because of the surprise appearance of Santell, Lido's most recent collaborator on The Passion Project. Upon arriving at the Hoxton just before midnight and the crowd was already feeling it. It was the first time I'd ever seen dance circle in the Hoxton, and this one was prolonged and featured a wide range of skills from people eating it and a couple deadly battles of carpet cutters. The length of the circle was aided by the opening DJs' long tracks. The one track that stood out to me was a remix of classic Timmy Thomas track "Why Can't We Live Together," which has now been famously sampled by Drake for "Hotline Bling." It's a great remix that culminates in a heavily string aided drop but doesn't stray too far from the original. I'm hopeful someone can identify the remixer because I'd love to add it to my collection; listen below...
I'm not sure who the openers ended up being, as I'm fairly certain the above video isn't either of hrmxny or GrandBuda. Someone said that they had merged this show with another so perhaps these guys were headliners from another event I didn't know about. Regardless, I was there for Lido, who hit the stage shortly after 12:30. And this is how it happened...

The crowd was certainly amped up in anticipation. There were a number of people in Trippy Turtle attire, including two big fans with the full turtle hoodie. As much as I'm not there to see a light show, I must admit this was by far the best light display I've ever seen at the Hoxton. And of course Lido's live set up was awesome to watch. To his right he had a drum pad set up, straight ahead was his keyboard/synth, and to his left was his sampler which he used only very briefly at the beginning of each new song (setting up the right sounds, loops and tuning his instruments). I also noticed what I would assume was his laptop on the ground beside the main amp, mapping out his set. The first track that he played following the above intro was his first major original production that everyone was repping last summer, Money. Of course the crowd was familiar and went nuts. The group of 4 or 5 people around me hugged and high-fived. And as you'll see in the video below he satisfied us even further by busting out his unbelievable remix of Banks "Drowning."
I highly suggest you check out the video of him performing with the KORK Orchestra; seeing the strings performed live really puts into perspective just how brilliant his production skills are. Not to mention that the guy sings all of his own songs and remixes.
Following his "Drowning" remix Lido stopped the music and introduced himself, and laid out his intentions for the night. He managed to get in a couple jabs at EDM and DJs that demand crowd participation. The crowd really seemed to like this shouting out things like "Fuck EDM!" and "No Major Lazer here!"There was also an instance of fortune telling in which Lido says "I'm not sure what you expect of me, what you want me to play," to which people responded "Everything!" "The new shit!" and "Canblaster!"Whether Lido heard this or not he responded by playing his collab with Canblaster "Hyperspeed." Enjoy the video and the rowdy crowd.
Lido seemed to know exactly what the crowd wanted and played everything perfectly, because he followed up "Hyperspeed" with his remix of local 6ixer The Weeknd, "Often." Of course the vast majority of the crowd sung along with Lido as he continued to dazzle everyone with his amazing live production. He followed up that love fest by quickly moving into his blazing VIP 2.5 mix of "I Love You (Part 2)." Clearly, Lido is a lover not a fighter, as he followed "I Love You" with a stripped down version of his Young Lean remix, "Gatorade." But of course there's always two sides to any story and it seems, as with most producers, Lido has finally had enough of Soundcloud, as you'll hear him say that just that morning he got an email from them threatening to shut down his account. It's a good thing he didn't try to put his remix of Fetty Wap, "Trap Queen" on there...
Lido kept the crooning at peak level by following Fetty with Bill Withers and his remix of "Ain't No Sunshine." He kept the crowd in the palm of his hand by dropping his sensational remix of Zhu's viral hit, "Faded." It was during this madness that I noticed a roadie sliding on stage and placing a mic stand in front of Lido's set up. Holy shit! A surprise vocalist! Who could it be? Wracking my brain I couldn't remember if any of the vocalists he remixed were in town. But of course, if you read the intro to this piece, you'll know it was Santell who joined Lido on stage for two soulful numbers.
Following Santell's seduction of the crowd Lido went back to his classic remixes and combined the likes of his Alt J "Left Hand Free" and S-Type "Billboard." This got the crowd fully energized and involved once again. You could tell the experience was about to end as the intensity was clearly growing to some unknown peak. But I should have known that once I heard that Sam Smith "Latch" vocal that the night was essentially over. I just didn't want to believe it. Once he and Sam stopped singing the crowd was uncontrollable. A number of fans rushed to where Lido was going to leave the stage in an attempt to get a selfie, but just like that he was gone. But deservedly so, the crowd chanted "One more song! One more song!" And within mere moment Lido appeared back on stage for his encore. He showed his love for the Toronto crowd by playing "I Love You" one last time.
All in all this was easily one of the best performances I've ever seen. The guy is a true artist, whose musicianship is unrivaled. The set was so well thought out and put together, while leaving the right amount of room for improvisation. The last two shows I've seen were live performances, which I'm more or less convinced is the way of the future, and perhaps the best all around money maker; they provide a totally different experience that a mere DJ set. There is some real performance that is worth watching, whereas most DJs  and their actual DJing isn't mesmerizing or that technically exciting to watch. I would recommend checking out Lido's live performances if he's ever near you but sadly this was at the end of his tour, so hopefully he is quickly produces some new music in the studio so that he can take his live set on tour again soon.