Image via @ljonasse on Instagram
A few weeks ago, the Best Buy Theater (formerly the Nokia Theater) changed its name to the Playstation Theater. The 2100-person venue is a massive room for someone who makes such intimate beats, but Emancipator and his Ensemble proved that they could fill up a sizable room with little problems.
Wax Tailor opened up the show, but he’s hardly an ‘opener’ in the traditional connotation of the word. The 40 year old trip hop veteran took patrons on an incredible journey that saw two different guests and synched visuals alongside his medley of dub, hip hop, and turntablism. Tracks like “How I Feel,” “Hypnosis Theme,” “Que Sera,” and “How I Feel” were laced with Jean-Christophe Le Saoût’s NYC-themed samples and an enthusiastic attitude.
After a brief intermission, the Emancipator Ensemble came out performing cuts mostly off the new LP Seven Seas. The live drums and bass really interject a great vibe into Douglas Appling’s beats. As the set progressed, older tunes made their way into the ears of concertgoers, with exceptional moments coming in the form of “When I Go” and “Valhalla.”
It’s been a real treat watching Emancipator grow over the years. You may think that his music belongs in tiny venues, but alongside a full band it can fill a massive theater. The 4, sometimes 5, members could loosen up a bit, extend the jams, and really expand the songs to create a little more energy, and they could probably use a few more members too. At any rate, the Emancipator Ensemble is the best way to hear these songs, and we have no doubt that they will continue to grow and flourish into a premier live act in the scene.