Review: Royksopp at The Wiltern

Written by

From KCRW volunteer Sierra Drucker

Royksopp - Senior

The Wiltern was abuzz last night in anticipation for Royksopp’s descent into Los Angeles.   A startling amount of people turned out for this show.  The line was seemingly endless.  Good thing I was wearing my walking shoes.

Once we finally made it in, DJ Mikey V set the tone for the evening, spinning magnetic pounding beats while everyone sipped their Heinekens and people-watched.  I must say, the crowd alone was an eye-full.  The theater was filled with the most random array of scene-sters from Mohawk-coifed tattooed neo-punks, to beatnik hippy types, plaid-wearing hipster-nerds, and J. Crew cardigan-clad conservatives.  Royksopp definitely knows how to bring together the disparate masses.

Soon, Jon Hopkins took the stage unassumingly; one singular man on one giant stage with a stash of technology at his fingertips and a massive audience to please.  He began with a bang, pumping out the meaty beats that literally shook our entire bodies.  I’m fairly sure my kidneys were fist-pumping.   His hands flew around his machinery with ease, crisscrossing to tease out a pounding bass you knew was just around the corner.  I was amazed that he managed to find moments in between the cadences to casually sip his beer – the epitome of cool.

By the time Royksopp took the stage the crowd had somehow grown exponentially.  Packed in like sardines, I only saw momentary slivers of the stage throughout the show.  And while I know they are a visual band, donning bags on their heads, intricate masks, and glowing accouterments aplenty, I can say that I was fully content with my auditory experience.

Clearly, these guys have their game down.  They know how to work the crowd, seamlessly mixing soulful meditative selections from their latest full length, “Senior“, with effervescent dance-inducing jams fromJunior“.   The audience reeled with each climactic swell, making for a constant resurgence of energy throughout their set.

Highlights included “Remind Me” and “Happy Up Here.” And surprisingly, I really fell for some of the tracks on “Senior” that had evaded my taste before.

If you’re a fan of Royksopp, hearing them live is definitely worth your while.  Their songs come alive, charged with new meaning and power.  So happy these Norwegians made their way overseas to greet us with such energy and talent.