I wasn’t sure if I’d live to write this concert review after tackling my first EDM concert Nov. 16 at the Fillmore with electro-pop duo Louis the Child but I survived and my eardrums will never be the same — in the best way possible.
The Chicago-based DJ and production duo — consisting of Robert Hauldren and Frederic Kennett — performed selections from their latest EP “Kids at Play,” and ingeniously funneled the playfulness and euphoria of childhood into the highly-anticipated performance.
Two opening bands, R.LUM.R and NoMBe, helped set the scene of the night, both radiating similarly whimsical auras but in different ways.
R&B singer-songwriter Reggie Williams, professionally known as R.LUM.R, bounced onto stage right at 8 p.m. and immediately dominated with his lusty vocals, artfully combining these soulful chords with funky, electronic synths. After rocking some of his top hits like “Frustrated” and “Love Less,” he concluded by asking everyone in the audience to take a photo with him — a moment filled with buoyant jumping and cheerful screams that unified the audience.
While R.LUM.R helped the audience members feel connected, NoMBe — who is featured on a track of the new Louis the Child album called “Save Me From Myself”— brought out the unadultured energy within the crowd.
Frontman Noah McBeth, a Los-Angeles based recording artist, composer and record producer, belted his catchy lyrics with his mesmerizingly calm, almost sensual, voice. Though his vocals were soothingly tranquil, he bolted back and forth across the stage like a flash of lightning, sporting a shimmery gold shirt that reflected the shining purplish blue lights above. His energy matched the dancing crowd, which swayed in unison to the beachy feeling of the music. The crowd went especially wild over “Jump Right In” and “California Girls.”
While audience members seemed to enjoy the opening acts, nobody could deny the real reason they were there: Louis the Child, of course. In between the opening acts, excited fans impatiently shouted for the band, chanting, “All I want is Louis!”
The duo might have had high expectations to fulfill, but they surely surpassed them.
From the moment they darted onto the stage, the crowd went wild. Eager fans continued to let out adrenalized squeals every time the beat dropped, continuously swaying among the incessant strobe lights that I thought were going to give me a seizure.
Continuously changing graphics flashed behind the spirited duo who was situated behind their emblematic crown logo. While some songs featured trippy shapes with a myriad of flashing colors, other songs like “Love Is Alive” — a single from 2017 that features Elohim — were accompanied by more concrete visuals. Images associated with childhood scenes also frequently conquered the screen, connecting back to the album’s key motif of blissful childhood living.
While the lights and visuals weren’t consistent, the energy of the charmed crowd persisted throughout the almost two-hour long lineup. The song “LOVE” from their newest EP, which also features Elohim, especially evoked happy roars from all corners of the smoke-filled venue.
Towards the end of the show, the boys really got comfortable on stage and jumped atop tables, still perched above their sparkling logo. The crowd got equally as rowdy as the DJs soared over their turntables, but the truest climax was when confetti poured down during the hit-song “Better Not” featuring Wafia.
Patiently waiting for more drops, everyone in the audience was truly kept on their toes throughout the night — well, except for the people I witnessed passing out from having a little too much fun.
And myself? As a typical devotee to classic rock and as someone who just recently found out what EDM stood for, I will admit I was out of my comfort zone — though it didn’t take long to get sucked into the fun vibe. Within minutes I joined the hundreds of others in their rampant dancing and arm waving, screaming until my vocal cords ached. As someone who typically enjoys small shows of artists with less than 5,000 Spotify plays, I definitely wouldn’t recognize myself that night.
I’m not used to shows where the artists are just fiddling around with knobs, but it was hard not to be captivated by the funky visuals, the overall energy of the DJs and the excitement pouring from the crowd. I didn’t even mind the countless times I was punched in the face by other attendees and I’m sure I ended up committing a few harmless eye-punches myself as I desperately tried to fit in. Nevertheless, we all had an enjoyable night. I don’t think many people around me will remember most of it, but I sure will.
In the end, we were all just a bunch of kids at play.