Monday, May 09, 2016

The Range @ Barboza (5/8/2016)


I almost didn't go to this show, for a couple of reasons. First, I knew nothing about the main act, Rome Fortune, and was only interested in seeing The Range. Second, it was a Sunday night, and I've been going in to work earlier, so I didn't want a lack of sleep to lead to a sluggish Monday. When I'm indecisive enough to not buy a ticket ahead of time, it almost always means that I'm not going. This time was different, though - I decided over the weekend that I would only go for The Range (whose album will likely end high on my list for 2016). This would avoid the boredom of not knowing the other acts, and would (hopefully) also allow me to salvage some sleep.

The plan almost worked out. I arrived promptly at 8 PM, thinking that I would be able to immediately catch The Range and then bounce. Unfortunately, the first act was a DJ set, and The Range wasn't due on stage until 9:15. I made the best of the situation, though, and walked over to a nearby Chipotle to grab a late dinner, and then up the street to check out the apartment in Capitol Hill that my buddy Mike had just moved into. I made it back to the venue just in time to catch The Range for his hour on stage before finding a bus back to the apartment.

After all that preamble, I should probably say a word or two about the show. The venue is pretty small - it's really just a bar in a basement (of another bar and small concert club) with a small, slightly elevated stage. The crow was also quite small, though it sorta filled out to maybe 50 people by the time The Range was done (which I would guess was below 25% capacity). Those that were there did seem to enjoy him, though, but I couldn't get a read on how many people where his fans vs Fortune's.

Musically, there was much to like about the set. Most of the tracks off Potential made an appearance, and as did one or two from Nonfiction (plus at least a couple that I didn't immediately recognize). As expected, though, the performance aspect was not particularly intriguing. He (James Hinton, aka The Range) did hop about quite a bit and mouth most of the lyrics in between pushing buttons and twiddling knobs. And there were a couple of projectors involved - one for a transparent screen in front of him, and the other (which he almost knocked over once while jumping about) for the white screen behind him. It was a decent visual spectacle for being such a small electronic act, but it wouldn't blow many (if any) minds. In any case, I was satisfied just to hear those beautiful big beats bumped loudly. I also got a chance to ask him a quick question (about when the documentary for Potential is due out - screenings in June, generally available in July) and shake his hand while he was breaking down his equipment after he was done.

Rating: 4.0/5

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