Passing through a curving tunnel after waiting in a lengthy line-up, I popped into Five Sixty’s unusual main space with Tyler, the Creator’s “Yonkers” blasting in what looked like an anticipatory club setting. With its minimal decorations and impressive stage corner entirely illuminated by a number of projected screens, the art gallery-cum-club made for a refreshing setting. I was even more impressed when I walked downstairs for a leak, only to find a surprising set up that I would best characterize as an open space for bodily and social functions, fully equipped with a DJ booth. However, my fascination with Five Sixty’s innovative design ended very abruptly when I was faced with the not-so-pleasant reality of having to shell out a ghastly nine bucks for a Heineken.
Vancouver’s HUMANS soon walked up on stage and briefly introduced their brand new music video for the spaghetti western-echoing single “THE END,” which was projected on the flexible walls. Produced and filmed by the band’s own Peter Ricq, the short horror film features band member Robbie Slade on an idyllic romantic getaway with a blonde goddess that takes a slightly surprising, and gratuitously gory turn.
The Vancouver electro-rock duo followed the screening with a dance riot-inducing set, making the most of their chopped-up glitch beats while alternating between rock and hip-hop based rhythms. Sonically, they set themselves apart by adding a raucous and grainy lo-fi touch to what would otherwise be a clean electronic soundscape. Humans played an hour-long set, throughout which the crowd was well mobilized, and the only reason why they didn’t go on longer would most likely be their small discography. But one can forgive that for a band this young. My only real complaint would be the slightly over-the-top African tribal influence in one of their tracks nearing the end of their performance, but I tried not to take that too seriously.
After the uproarious set, the audience dwindled quickly, with only a few handfuls of patrons hanging around for San Francisco’s Loose Shus. I was very perplexed by his set, which had the retro-electro producer squatting awkwardly behind a coffee table with his laptop. While he did bring some really enjoyable French house and new wave-inspired dance grooves, the performance could have been improved if a decent table had been provided for the guy. With momentum lost because of the awkward set-up, there wasn’t very much to keep me there much longer.