Baths Live at Paradiso

I had the pleasure of seeing the Baths project live, read about his Spring 2011 performance to a crowd of glitch-lovers in Holland below:

All of the album reviews for Cerulean, Will Wiesenfeld/Baths’ rookie LP, say that due to his extensive variety of musical training, the album’s release (Anticon) was a long time coming. My anticipation for his April 19 show in Amsterdam also most certainly was a long time coming; I fell hard for Baths when I first heard the album last year, so much that I sought and purchased Cerulean on vinyl, knowing I had no access to a record player in this city. I had to see this music live. And the verdict? It was magical. Baths is absolutely ecstatic during a live set.

Opening with “Indoorsy” (“It’s a breezy beeeaaaautiful day”) he amped the bass and softened the lulls to create a powerful juxtaposition during which hands flew up in the air, a perfect dance ready position for a dubstep heavy show. Excitement shot through the crowd at every big break, mostly visible via audience bodies: dancing crazy like they couldn’t stop. During the crowd favorite “Animals,” it seemed as though Wiesenfeld coiled back elastic beats and then shot them back at us—louder and harder—like electronic spitfire via vibrating bungee cords.

Will loves his bass. You could feel it two stories below his stage inside the famous church-turned-venue Paradiso. He loves to soundbite and to sing, too. With vocals reminiscent of Passion Pit’s and possibly even the Dashboard Confessional of our high school years, Baths carried through not the cheesy or emo-ance, but instead only the most endearing elements—the kind that subtly make you stare off into the corner of some stage curtain and think about your ex-lover.

Baths employs the glitchy side of electronica more than I really enjoy, and oftentimes the off-beat, inconsistent tempos deterred from the groove of collective dance. However, the percussion heavy beats—such as those in possibly the coolest song off the album, “Lovely Bloodflow”—eventually always caught up with the bodies craving direction, fostering a nice mix of unpredictability and consistent flow.

Let’s remember too that Baths is a young project, as is Wiesenfeld’s recognition and fame. I was happy to notice how humble the Los Angeles musician was during his set. Between uttering polite thank yous, he seemed to genuinely smile in graciousness whenever sensing the crowd’s excitement peak. I call these “really really likable ‘holy shit I made it’ moments.” We also enjoyed how he prefaced the end of his set: “These next two songs are sort of gay. Everybody has a little bit of gay, so… dance even if you’re not.”

With that incontestable charm, I’ll wrap this up. Make sure to experience Cerulean if you haven’t already, preferably/definitely live.

(Originally published on the217.com and readbuzz.com)

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