One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk at Stereo Live, 5/11/13
Photos by Julian Bajsel
One More Time: A Tribute to Daft Punk Stereo Live May 11, 2013
It's safe to say that Daft Punk fever is at an all time high. Fifteen-second clips of new music were enough to nearly break the internet and no major gathering of musicians can happen without rumors of a Daft Punk appearance spreading.
Enter One More Time to try and help the masses with their Daft Punk mania. The more cynical among you may see it as an opportunistic money-grab, but this isn't the case at all. They've been doing the Daft Punk tribute thing for years, even winning the award for "Best Electronica Tribute Act" (under their old name Daft Punk'd) from our friends at the Phoenix New Times back in 2011.
That said, like many of you, we here at Rocks Off had questions about whether or not an electronica tribute act could work. What, we wondered, would the show be like?
To be honest, it's a lot like seeing any other tribute act.
One More Time do a lot of things exceptionally well, the biggest thing being that they dress and look the part. If you go to see a Daft Punk tribute, you want to see two people dressed up like robots playing dance music, and dance-music-playing robots is what the crowd got. The regular versions of the outfits they wear for the bulk of the show are nice, but the Tron-inspired versions that they wear for the encore are damn near jaw-dropping.
In addition to the outfits, the duo plays inside a replica of the Alive 2007 pyramid. It's not quite as fancy as the original, but it gets the job done and is visually interesting. If you're going to do a Daft Punk tribute, you have to play inside a pyramid -- them's the rules.
As for the music, it was what you might expect from an Alive 2007-styled performance; among other things, the show started off with "Robot Rock" and contained a version of the "Around The World"/"Harder Better Faster Stronger" mashup. Along the way, the group played some of their own takes on the tracks, and ended the night with "One More Time" which brought down the house.
That said, trying to fit the show into a binary question like "Was it good?" just seems silly. "Was it satisfying?" seems much more appropriate, and if all you were looking for was to hear some Daft Punk tracks on a really loud sound system and have some interesting visuals to look at, then you probably went home more than happy.
That's not to say there wasn't anything to learn from the One More Time experience:
1. If you haven't heard "Get Lucky" in the club or in the context of a Daft Punk-centric set, you're missing out. The track kills and fits in with the older stuff just fine.
2. It's hard to fathom just how much money the real Daft Punk must be leaving on the table by not touring right now. Sure, they'll make a lot of money next time they hit the road, but you can't help but wonder how big the crowds might be if they were hitting the road while everyone was talking about them. People are so rabid for them right now they packed a club just to see a tribute to them.
3. There's something to admire about the guys behind One More Time. Would they be on tour right now if Daft Punk weren't about to release a new album? Maybe not, but come on: these guys built a pyramid; let them make some money off the damn thing.
Personal Bias: Historically speaking, I've never been a huge Daft Punk fan. They have songs that I like, but I'm not over the moon for them like a lot of people are. As such, I've never seen them live and have no frame of reference for their live show.
The Crowd: An interesting mix of Stereo Live regulars and people making it out for the first time. Fewer costumes than you might guess.
Overheard In The Crowd: "Daft Punk! Daft Punk! Daft Punk!" the crowd shouted right before One More Time hit the stage.
Random Notebook Dump: You know what would have been an awful idea? Writing this review in the style of another writer as a tribute. At least that's what I'm telling myself since I didn't put time notes next to anything I wrote down, thus keeping me from doing a proper Shea Serrano-style review.
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