The tail end of opener Busy P’s set did not give any suggestion as to what Justice had in store for their sold out shows at Terminal 5 in New York on March 16th. The audience was still meandering in while Busy P played some indie / rock songs to hype up the crowd. Justice, however, are not the mainstream. They aren’t even part of the mainstream dubstep or rock trends in electronic music. This French DJ duo put together songs with a bit of artistry and a bit of drama like their fellow countrymen, Daft Punk. The audience, anticipating a heavy hitting set of tracks from the albums † and Audio, Video, Disco were not wearing neon, fuzzy boots or waving glow sticks. This wasn’t a club night, this was was the start of the electronic producers Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay’s first US tour in two years, and the first since the release of Audio, Video, Disco.
Two massive stacks of Marshall amps, rivaling the ones Dinosaur Jr. share the stage with, stood on either side of the DJ platform. The front of the platform itself was outfitted with a ton of knobs and triggers on the duo’s trademark white glowing cross. Equally iconic was de Rosnay, in his red jacket, who lit up a cigarette and puffed away nonchalantly throughout the night. But either way, the fans wanted the music. And Justice gave them over an hour and a half of music, reconfiguring their own tracks into one cohesive set on the spot.
Justice began the night with a synth rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” before delving into some moody piece under the cover of darkness. Working their mixers, Justice progressed through their set offering little interaction with the audience, other than to whip them into a frenzy with pounding bass. Surprisingly, during various points, the DJ booth shifted during the set to reveal a piano behind it like during the children’s chorus fueled romp that is “D.A.N.C.E.”. Before “We are your Friends”, de Rosney raised his hand in an extended peace gesture, one of only a few times the audience was still. The second prominent break in momentum was before the second, or encore, set. Justice returned to lead this segment with their latest single, “On’n'On”. When it was over, people stood lingering in case of another encore. The audience couldn’t get enough of Justice. They had kept the floor and monitors shaking the entire night.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.