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Noise Pop ’08: MSTRKRFT Score Big


After three days of indie rock shows, it was unquestionably time for some electric dancefloor pandemonium. At Mighty last night, Toronto-based electro duo MSTRKRFT valiantly employed a trilling treble, thundering bass, and a bottle of Crown Royal to get concertgoers writhing, gyrating, and going all kinds of psychotic in the club.

After a DJ set by leather jacket-clad Los Angeles pair L.A. Riots and a fist-in-the-air boogie session with Miami’s Lazaro Casanova that felt more akin to electro calisthenics, a MSTKRFT — sans their trademark gold-painted hockey masks — took the stage in a flurry of flying plastic cups, water bottles, and primal screams of passion from the female fan contingent. And it took an explosion of gold confetti to force these meticulous, focused, and stoic Canadians — JFK, the mustachioed member of now-defunct electro-rock twosome Death From Above 1979, and DFA1979’s producer, Al-P — to thaw their frozen, indifferent expressions into something barely approximating a smirk.

Starting off the night — er, this morning — with a mashed-up version of their own “Easy Love,” the duo held court while crazed fans, couples in mid-make-out, and spastic baseball hat-clad bros all collided in a dancefloor pileup under seven glimmering disco balls. Between more blasts of confetti and the wafting smell of pungent body odor, MSTRKRFT spun “Paris” and “Neon Knights” from their debut, The Looks, a contorted remix of the Happy Mondays’ “Hallelujah,” menacing Justice track “Phantom Part II,” and Daft Punk’s classic, “One More Time.”

For branding purposes, surely, a four-deep bank of giant flatscreen monitors flashed scenes of hockey-masked folks playing tennis, drinking martinis on manicured lawns, and jumping on beds.

As the show wound down, with the sweat beginning to dry and the streamer-covered floor starting to thin out, it was clear that, with or without hockey masks, MSTRKRFT were Noise Pop’s sonic saviors, with an assist from supercharged, pounding beats and a heavy pour of Canadian whiskey.

Click photos to enlarge…

“Easy Love” at Mighty? / Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy

MSTRKRFT shake the room / Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy

Rocking the front row / Photo by Misha Vladimirskiy