Concert Review: Javelin & Lucky Dragons Create an Interactive Concert Experience in Walker Lounge

Javelin, an electronic duo from New York, and the one-man act Lucky Dragons played in Walker Lounge on Nov. 4, hosted by CCLA Live Arts.The stage was filled with instruments including magic sticks—actual sticks plugged into the mixer—rocks, cymbals on sticks, mini gongs, and a recorder hooked up to the mixer, all piled in a heap in front of the table that held Javelin’s mixers and electronic drum pad.The show began 50 minutes late, which gave the crowd time to grow from ten people at 8:30 to more than 80 onlookers by 9:20 p.m.Lucky Dragons began the performance by playing a basic trance song, which was quickly taken up a notch once he started passing the magic sticks to the audience. The sticks added a maraca sound to the mix. The complete sound was ambient, atmospheric, and certainly trancelike. The crowd seemed to be hypnotized and stared intently at Lucky Dragons, especially audience members who were not participating in making the sound. After the magic sticks were sent around, rocks were added to the picture, followed by cymbals and later by gongs.If the audience had been smaller, everyone present could have been a part of this creation. During the performance, I couldn’t help but wonder whether this sound qualified as music. Once everyone started playing with the instruments, there was no real structure or beat. The music was more a type of interactive art than anything else.“I love the way that he uses music to bring everyone together,” Ben Garza PO ’13 said. “Everyone was jamming. Everyone was part of it. Personality and prejudices were thrown out. Everything was communal.” At about 10 p.m., Javelin took over the lounge with their intense energy. The crowd began to dance almost instantaneously. Javelin is a dance group that was recently signed to David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label—interesting, as the band’s performance was definitely reminiscent of the Talking Heads.Ryan Shumaker PO ’13 described the music as “mind blowing.” Javelin played around six songs to complete a 30-minute set, which was disappointing because during those 30 minutes, all you wanted was to dance without interruption. Before seeing Javelin for myself, I was told that their performances tend to be full of theatrics and boom boxes. If this is true, I did not see it in this performance. But even that invitation to hype up the band did not fail to impress the snob in me. Javelin just needed its mixers and electronic drum pad, and nothing else—except for the audience.Although the opening act was a sharp contrast to Javelin, overall it made for a good, mellow performance that allowed the audience to let go of the inhibitions that may have left them so intent on just watching the first performance rather than dancing.“It was totally bombacious; yes, I know I made up that word, but you should start using it,” Sarah Schwartz PO ‘10 said. “That’s the highest culture I’ve seen yet.”Javelin’s vocalist put in a word after the show. “This was one of our best shows in the last six months,” he said. “It was really fun. Everyone that came here was so ready to go.”

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