This past April, we shared news with you of a series of rescheduled Duke Dumont shows. These were set to take place in Los Angeles later this year. This past weekend, we had the opportunity to check out the first of two shows. Now, we’re here to tell you all about it. Buckle up!
The two shows took place at The Shrine in Los Angeles, and ran from Friday September 10 – Saturday, September 11, 2021. Support for the first night was originally scheduled to be a set from The Magician as well as a DJ set from Classixx. This, however, changed – but more on that later.
As stated earlier, the original Friday night lineup consisted of sets from both The Magician, and Classixx. The Friday prior to the show, Duke Dumont shared a message to twitter stating that The Magician would not be able to join us. Instead, he would be replaced by Hayden James. I was pretty happy to see Hayden James added to both days, as he’s someone I had been wanting to see. Having said this I was initially bummed he wouldn’t be on the bill the first night, but felt The Magician would put on just as good of show, if not better.
In addition to this Jacques Greene would play both nights, and option4 on Saturday. Classixx would also still be playing on Friday night. For a clear idea of each night’s respective lineup, I’ve gone ahead and linked both nights lineups below.
With doors opening at 8:00 PM, and Duke coming on at 12:00AM, I knew I had some time to play with. I strolled in just as Classixx was coming to an end. Having said this, I managed to enjoy the last few bits of their unique funktronic, Nu-Disco take on dance music. After a brief intermission, Hayden James took the stage. He proceeded to show the Los Angeles crowd just what he is made of.
I found that his deeper, pop-tinged electronic dance music was the perfect vibe to set the stage for Duke. After hypnotizing the crowd for just about an hour, I could see, and feel that those around me were ready to see the Duke. Once Hayden’s set ran its course, the lights dimmed, and other intermission was held. Shortly after 12 ‘o clock the lights came on, and when the strobe-light hit, I knew it was time to get the party started.
Once Duke came on, there was a very obvious shift in the room’s energy. He happened to open up with three of my personal favorites from him. The first was a special edit of the fan favorite in ‘Red Light Green Light‘ ft. Shaun Ross.
This was my first time seeing Duke, and he did not disappoint. He managed to play classics like ‘Need U‘, and ‘I Got U‘, as well as older material like ‘Need U (100%)‘ feat. A*M*E.
At the same time, Duke played most, if not all of tunes off of his debut album, ‘Duality’. To me, this is a big deal as he released this album last year, mid-pandemic. Those of us who have been patiently waiting to hear ‘Duality’ live, finally got the chance to do just that. We got to hear ‘Nightcrawler’, ‘Therapy’, ‘Let Me Go‘, and even ‘The Fear’. The whole lot if you will.
His Live Performance
Walking in, I was unsure of what to expect. I knew his music, I’ve live-streamed his sets, but had never seen him live — and boy, did I see him live on this night. Most electronic music producers DJ when they go on tour, or hold their own shows. This is what I was expecting. Duke Dumont did nothing of the sort. It didn’t take long for me to realize that something was amiss.
I say this, as up on stage Duke had an assortment of synthesizers to his left, and drum machines/samplers to his right. There were no CDJs in sight — which typically are every DJ’s most utilized instrument. From here, I quickly realized that Duke was launching clips and playing synths in real time. I found this to be an extremely impressive feat, as only some of the most tenured producers even attempt this. From a musical standpoint, this was astounding.
After ending his set with a brief fake-out, Duke returned for an encore, and closed out his set with his biggest hit ‘Ocean Drive’. Once the track’s thumping baseline hit, the crowd knew just what to expect, breaking out in song once the iconic vocals came on. It’s not often you get to hear a crowd singing every word to an artists song, but I experienced this on this night, and its a memory I’ll never forget. If anything, it just cements Duke’s status as a future legend in realm of dance music.
Duke Dumont is an artist who I had never seen prior to this weekend. I now remove him from this list, and add him to another: my list of artists that I plan to see again. Duke Dumont is a phenomenal producer, and he has the accolades, and discography to support this.
As the show came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel as though his set was short – but alas, this is what happens when you play all originals. A discography can only go so deep before you’re forced to supplement it with outside tracks the way you would a DJ set. Having said that, I look forward to checking out a DJ set from Dumont, if only to compare it to his live set.
In the lead up to the event Duke tweeted out ‘Tonight, Dress To Sweat‘. He wasn’t kidding. The venue was packed like a can of sardines, with the lines for drinks 20+ minutes long. As the show went on, this got better, but with the amount sweat and heat in the place, the lines stayed on the longer side throughout the night.
Venturing throughout the venue, you’d occasionally find cool pockets of air, flowing from the A.C. The thing is, this is where the acoustics of The Shrine came into play. Upstairs you’d find the pockets of cool air more frequently than you would on the bottom floor however the sound quality wasn’t the best upstairs. If only due to the reverberations the venue gave off. For this reason, I found myself back on the main floor, in the crowd, where the acoustics were immaculate. I easily found the better sound quality to be a fair trade off of being a bit cooler.
Having seen a slew of artists at The Shrine in Los Angeles, this was easily one of my favorite crowds at the venue. The people were nice, and not as rude as you’d expect from a crowd at the Shrine. I say this as USC is right around the corner, and the crowd isn’t always the best. This may also be in part due to the fans that Duke attracts. I’ve seen some major Chad behavior after having attended other events here. Regardless, I’m happy to of had a great time. I for one can’t wait to return, and am looking forward to the next event there.
For more information on all things Duke Dumont, be sure to follow the links to his social media, below. While you’re there, I’ve also included his upcoming tour dates, in case you get the itch to check ’em out, enjoy!