While Conspirator tours across the country with their friends Break Science in support of their latest record, I had the pleasure of attending the February 22nd show at The Vic Theatre presented by Silver Wrapper and React Presents. If one show can make you forget about your Chicago winter blues and put you right back into your summer festival mindset, this show was it. Both groups bring to the table a beautiful mix of live-tronica that does not disappoint.
At around 9:45, I arrived at The Vic. Having never been to this venue before, I was excited to see what kind of atmosphere it would bring. The venue’s capacity is 1,400 people, but for a venue this size the show seemed very intimate. You could easily walk right up to the front and only be a couple feet away from the artist, which is something that is not always easily achieved. The crowd almost felt like a family, everyone dancing with great vibes in the air. Opening up for Conspirator this night was the Brooklyn based duo, Break Science, consisting of Adam Deitch on drums (who also plays in the Funk band Lettuce) and Borahm Lee orchestrating behind his computer, synth, and keyboard. Break Science uses a wide spectrum of electronic genres; Glitch Hop being the most notable, seamlessly connecting them with live elements creating a unique show every time. They opened the night with an original remix of “Talk That Talk” by Rihanna featuring Jay-Z. This song blends together hip-hop elements with a dubby riff, creating a tune that I believe is even better than the original. Some highlights were, “Throwback” by Michael Menert and Break Science, which can be found on their recent collaboration album Twilight Frequency and “Whole World Locked”, “Victory”, and “Forest of Illumination” from their album Monolith Code. These tracks stood out to me the most, but for what it’s worth, every song they played had a remarkable amount of improvisation and energy creating one of the best opening sets I’ve ever seen.
During the break, my friends and I quickly refilled our drinks and prepared for the party that was to come. Conspirator’s all star lineup consists of Mark Brownstein and Aron Magner, the bassist and keyboardist from the Disco Biscuits, Raq’s guitarist Chris Michetti, and KJ Sawka, former Pendulum drummer. Their sound is a perfect blend of jam and electronic with a heavy dub-step drive. After having their most recent album, Unleashed, on repeat for days, I was excited to see how they would incorporate their new tracks in their live show. This night, Chris Michetti showed his love for the city by wearing a guitar strap decorated in the Chicago flag. They played their new album almost in its entirety. My favorites were, “Tumbler”, “Commish”, “Right/Wrong” by The Company We Keep (Conspirator remix), and “Pow Wow”. Brownstein led the way with filthy bass grooves, while Michetti melted everyone’s faces with incredible guitar solos. Towards the end of their set, they dropped a remix of “Jah No Partial” featuring Flux Pavilion by Major Lazer. This electronic banger combined with the groups instrumentation made the crowd go wild. Conspirator, once again, played a show that left me in awe. The incredible talent these guys have combined with the right edm makes for one hell of a show. Make sure to check them out during this years festival season.