Union Transfer is a relatively small and intimate venue, but this didn’t stop it from becoming an all-out dance party when the German electro-house duo Digitalism came to Philadelphia on October 28th. This was the fifth stop on Digitalism’s North American Tour which was kicked-off only five days prior in Toronto.
Beard o Bee’s was the opener and set a solid tone for the night. Just before the show got underway, attendance was relatively light and the audience was mainly huddled in the corners of the venue or perched at the bar. But when Jesse Miller of Beard o Bee’s got in position at his custom electronic command center, it wasn’t long before people made their way to the dance floor. Jesse Miller works vigorously to keep a continuous flow to the music. He is surrounded by his equipment and as he frantically moves between his mixing boards and his launch pad; it appears to onlookers as an epic battle between man and machine. After a very entertaining 45 minutes, Miller wrapped up and the stage was set for Digitalism.
Jens “Jence” Moelle and İsmail “Isi” Tüfekçi of Digitalism are the wizards behind the curtain, literally. When the curtain fell after Beard o Bee’s concluded it did not rise again for the rest of the night. This mesh screen provided another dimension to an already complex light show. Probably the best visual moment during the show was when an image of a wolf running through the Digitalism logo got projected while they blasted out their new single. While the rest of the visuals were completely satisfying and accented the set nicely, that moment was very unique.
The most delightfully shocking moment of the entire night was seeing the intensity Digitalism brought to the venue. During the opening set the volume of the music filled the room, but when Digitalism’s first beat hit the speakers the audiences’ hair blew back. The bass sent ripples through the cups of beer in the room and the energy was reciprocated with a mob of dancing fans. But what made the show most enjoyable was the clarity of the sound. The bass didn’t smoother the mid range or high range notes and the vocals were crisp. From the balcony to the front of the stage the sound was consistent; Digitalism, their sound crew, and the acoustics of Union Transfer worked together beautifully to deliver an amazing experience to fans.
Digitalism’s set went on for nearly two hours with the music only stopping for a few minutes to separate the main performance from the encore. Their set was evenly split with songs from “Idealism” (2004) and “I Love You Dude” (2007) with a couple added treats in between; such as playing their remix of Derezzed by Daft Punk. But for a band that released their debut album ten years ago the crowd was young and excited. Digitalism’s musical evolution has been exciting to observe and enjoy since their first release and should have fans looking forward to the content they plan to release next year.
To find out if Digitalism will be playing a venue in your hometown, make sure to check their website HERE.