After a truly raging Halloween show a month ago at The Westcott in Syracuse, I knew that I couldn’t miss Jimkata, along with The Manhattan Project, when they came to Utica.
Both bands have been touring extensively for months, Jimkata specifically supporting their new album, Die Digital. Off to a late start, and with some time to kill before they went on, I chatted briefly with bassist Dave Rossi. After being on the road, he was glad to be back closer to home, although none too glad to be back in the chilly Upstate NY weather. We discussed the venue (really unique and the bathrooms are nice too!), the Upstate music scene (awesome!) as well as upcoming New Year’s plans. They’ll be at The Haunt in Ithaca for NYE, but I was excited to learn of their Phish aftershow on 12/28 @ Club 39!
Manhattan Project took the stage as the room started to fill. Many that I spoke with were excited to see what they’d bring to the table tonight. This Rochester duo has been touring extensively, with several festival appearances, including at Camp Bisco, and have been building their fan base at every stop. Having seen them several times in the past, I knew I was guaranteed a good time. It consistently amazes me that this energetic and texturally complex sound comes from just two guys, Shawn Drogan and Charlie Linder.
Their infectious mix of dub, house and techno, combined with a visually stimulating light show made their show highly danceable from start to finish. Their remixes and steady progression of songs kept the crowd engaged. “Knight Rider” remix was a true standout and had many folks in the audience looking around in awe, “Is this really happening? This is awesome!” As they closed their set, the crowd was certainly primed and ready for Jimkata.
Their set started off strong cruising easily through much of the new album, Die Digital. The new album, while still lyrically thoughtful, adds the right punches whether it be electronic beats, synth or a heavy bass line and intertwines everything so perfectly. Energy was high and the room turned quickly into a full on dance party, a crowd locked in and grooving to the sound. Their “5th member” if you will, a wall of lights in sync with the show provided an additional layer of intrigue to Jimkata’s already complex and captivating show.
Standouts of the night included “Electronic Stone”, a crowd pleaser with an extremely catchy chorus, as well as one of my personal favorites “American Cars”. Having followed Jimkata for several years, I love their growth as musicians, and their evolution of sound. Their lyrics, combined with a new found electronic edge makes for an unforgettable experience.
This was a thoroughly satisfying show, and I cannot wait to see them again at the end of the month. GO SEE JIMKATA, and MANHATTAN PROJECT! You won’t regret it.