SBTRKT’s Aaron Jerome descended upon The Belasco Theater for the 2nd of a two-night-stint at the Downtown LA venue and despite not having usual companion Sampha on stage with him, managed to wow the sold out crowd into oblivion.
The vocals were dialed in to the point where it felt like the many collaborators from the just released Wonder Where We Land and 2011’s classic self-titled LP were there on stage. Jerome provided the hauntingly distorted vocal hook on single “New Dorp New York” and he along with two new stage musicians gave us an hour and a half of bliss.
There were spellbinding elongated versions of “Something Goes Right” and “Hold On” and a trippy video projection of “Look Away,” reminiscent of the recently released interactive video. Atlanta MC, Raury jumped on stage to perform “Higher” and commanded the crowd, but the highlight of the night was Jerome’s ambitious Radiohead remix of “Lotus Flower.” It takes a special talent to tastefully remix Thom Yorke and Co & SBTRKT pulled it off masterfully.
“…a remix from this band called Radiohead” Jerome joked just before dropping the track. It drew into SBTRKT’s signature tribal drums, staying true to the mask he still adorns on stage. It felt like SBTRKT is one of the few acts who could make people happy with a simple DJ set if he wanted to. Jerome carried the show and it was a pleasure to see this evolution of an artist who carefully plucked so many wonderful collaborators for Wonder Where We Land to commanding the stage as the focal point of the night.
All photos by Adrian Spinelli and Jason Chiang