Review by Lee Kalpakis
At Slake on Friday, November 20, Space Jesus threw quite the party for the release of his brand new album, Close Encounters. The highly anticipated album drew a crowd that was teeming with energy. Even the line waiting to get in was buzzing with electricity. That element of infectious excitement seemed to flow through the whole evening to the very last beat.
The lineup was fire, with the ultra danceable sounds of producer/DJs Esseks, Brightside, and Soohan, the world debut of super far out rapper Pipus, and the staggering beat-boxing talents of the show’s host, Honeycomb. The venue was absolutely packed with fans who created a genuine family-like community. The amount of smiles, fist bumps, hugs, and high fives going around engendered a feeling of old friends coming together to celebrate the new creations of their leader, Jasha Tull, better known to them as Space Jesus.
By the time Tull took the stage everyone was in full party mode and surrendered to his presence as he completely took over. The performance was visually captivating with an absolutely stunning light show (by Drew Suto of Dutch Masterson Design) filled with the juiciest neon and primary colors. The whole stage was packed with raging fans and friends. Up high there were cages filled with gorgeous women moving effortlessly to every sounds pouring off the stage as smoke and screams of euphoria filled the air and the warm buzz of powerful bass passed through every being present.
“Close Encounters” has a heavy hip hop influence, which has been evident in his earlier albums but perhaps not quite to this extent. With a span of diverse multicultural genre samples and at times a haunting, almost eerie feel the record displays lyrics with raw truth, beats with just the right amount of sex appeal, and bass that won’t quit. His entire performance was undeniably evocative and left everyone in the room satisfied and dripping with sweat. The future seems bright for this up and coming artist. Or in the words of the DJ himself, “everything’s cake.” Killer party, Space Jesus. Can’t wait till the next one.