In 2008, Justice had just begun to emerge onto the American music scene despite receiving three Grammy nominations. MySpace also took notice of their unique sound by making Justice the headliner for their spring MySpace Music tour. Despite my love of European and electronic music, I too had missed them on my radar. Lucky for me, a friend bought us tickets and insisted, “You MUST go!” I walked into the House of Blues that night a blank slate.
As we entered the venue, we were each handed a black and gold cross with JUSTICE and MySpace Tour information all over it. Looking around, the crowd turnout was moderate and so was the stage setup. At first I wasn’t sure what to think or expect, but when the music hit me, I quickly rushed to grab a spot on the dancefloor. Diplo, who was also new to the scene got the floor jumpin like a pro with his unique mix of pop rock and electro.
Before I knew it, the floor was getting crowded and body heat began to swell up the building. As I waited for the music I gazed at the intricate stage piece that was complete with knobs, blinking lights, wires, switches, gauges, massive speakers, and looked like it could fly a rocket ship. Whether it actually did anything or not, I knew we were in for an electronic treat!
As quickly as the room darkened, just as the applause roared, a giant white cross lit up darkness and the first beat dropped. Genesis, the first time you hear it, the first note you hear, is such a pure ringing solid tone, it’s almost a warning or an alarm. As the tone builds upon the lighter fluttering sounds, it becomes monstrous in its build up and breaks down with a natural vibration that locks you in this groove, it feels like… oh wait, I apologize… I got lost in the music. …this was my first reaction to the music Justice.
From the first song through the end of their set, I was a dancing machine. I was in love with their music, rhythm, tones, vibrations, and often found myself dancing with my eyes closed, a victim of the beat. The vivid memories I have of those brief moments when I stopped to watch the show, I am flooded with strobe lights and that brilliant white cross, beaming across all of us as hundreds of raised hands offered worship. I was one of many fans held captivated nearly entranced, as the whole floor moved together like swarmed insects; it was an incredible experience for all of us.
Justice kept the music at full momentum the entire time through the nearly two hour performance. Never letting anything go too long, mixing original music with fresh samples and remixes, it was always perfect. Ranging from a melodic chorus light version of D.A.N.C.E. that got the audience to sing, to mixing Stress to Phantom Pt. II with a harsh metal chainsaw effect that got the audience jumping; there was always something new to move you.
“We Are Your Friends! You’ll Never Be Alone Again!” the masses chanted with fists in the air, over and over four minutes at a time while Justice switched and dropped the beat. Each time they brought it back with heavy bass lines, even once doing a killer mix with Ministry’s Just One Fix. After Justice had played the last note, the fans cheered and exclaimed to one another how amazing that show was. All totally danced out, we left reeling with great energy and music in our hearts. My first impression of Justice was so powerful, the memories are so vibrant I can go back and relive the experience each time I hear a Justice song. LOVE <3
SETLIST: Intro, Genesis, Phantom I, New Jack, D.A.N.C.E. (Rehearsal Version, MSTRKRFT Remix, and Justice Remix), Waters of Nazareth, Two Minutes to Midnight, DVNO, Let There Be Lite, Stress, Phantom II
Encore: We Are Your Friends (A Cappella mix), Ministry – Just One Fix, and Metallica - Master of Puppets