Shpongle has been around since the early nineties with their psychedelic, trance style music mixed with an exotic feel. They’ve made fans all over the world since the duo themselves have a varied background. Simon Posford and Raja Ram have collaborated to create music everyone can appreciate. Although their main demographic turns out to be people who are into recreational drugs, they manage to make fans everywhere they turn up. Their shows are a mix of the theatrical, spiritual and magical as they make full use of vocals and instruments to reach the crowd.
A Shpongle show is not to be missed. If there is one must see, this would be the one to go to although most of the time they are sold out within minutes. Ram who is in his seventies was not at the concert on Thursday April 19th, but Posford managed to wow the crowd any way despite only being armed with DJ equipment and the tracks off of just about every one of his albums. Posford mixes Indian vocals and even opera with electronic music to create a unique experience.
The opener was Phutureprimitive who worked hard to try to liven people up a bit and some were into it so much that they started dancing. Connecticut is an interesting place for concerts because the crowd is usually very mixed. Toad’s Place New Haven was no exception as Phutureprimitive performed to a group of college kids, potheads and people who looked like they belonged at a hip-hop concert. There were quite a few people out during Phutureprimitive’s set, but the floor filled up when Shpongle came on.
After having listened to much of Shpongle’s music, I wasn’t actually sure what to expect. I was expecting a more laid back set from Shpongle and thought Phutureprimitive would be the one to bring a dance feel to the crowd. Phutureprimitive had a great sound that had the potential to get more people dancing, but ended up having more of a softer feel to it. Shpongle definitely surprised me as he immediately got the crowd dancing and going with seemingly little effort.
Out of nowhere, the crowd filled up and everyone that was on the dance floor was having fun. People weren’t fighting each other, they were just having a good time and it was a wave of dancing bodies as Shpongle remixed hits like “Around the World in a Tea Daze” to a dance beat. There were moments where the music turned into straight dubstep which was really interesting and exciting to experience. Some people wore the signature masks that Shpongle is known for and Posford even wore a hat made by a local fan. He ended the show by announcing “You have officially been Shpongled”.
Posford’s message of bringing people together is what I really took away from the show. Towards the end, he really drove home the idea that we are all one and it was a place for everyone to have fun. The current Shpongle DJ set tour with Phutureprimitive lasts through the beginning of May and passes through New York, Vermont and Massachusetts.