RJD2 @ Mr. Small's - 2/27/2016

In 2016 it’s a rare to find an artist whose weapons of choice for a live performance are a classic four turntable and mixer setup only occasionally augmented by digital technology. Instead of hiding behind a MacBook, as most DJ’s do, RJD2 prioritized his audience, feeding off of the energy of a very receptive crowd and creating a continuous, engaging dance party. 

 RJD2 - Photo: Chelsea Dickson

RJD2 - Photo: Chelsea Dickson

RJD2’s catalogue is immense, spanning 10 studio albums including the yet to be released Dame Fortune due out Mach 26th and several more EP’s, mix albums and collaborations. RJ played tracks from his entire, expansive career, creating a holistic canvas of his journey as an artist that he expertly wove together to create a seamless, bouncy set.

In addition to putting on a great show of his own, RJD2 chose two local openers who played phenomenal sets, showcasing his dedication to advancing the musical careers of others. Chalk Dinosaur opened the show, and Badboxes playing before RJ. Bandboxes featured modulated, autotuned, harmonized vocals played over shimmering synths and drums. They notably covered The Cars’ Drive, resurrecting the 1984 classic slow jam that sounded almost more complete with Badboxes’ modulated vocals.

 Badboxes - Photo: Chelsea Dickson

Badboxes - Photo: Chelsea Dickson

A few songs before the end of his set, RJ took to the mic to thank the exceptionally diverse crowd of ravers, college students and young professionals for sticking with him throughout the show. Apparently just hours before taking the stage, RJ came down with food poisoning, a fact which shocked the crowd given the energy with which he bounced around his turntable battle station.

RJD2’s show demonstrated the meticulous effort he put into his own live show, his dedication to his music, and his desire to advance the music of others. RJ’s set created an image of an artist with unbounded passion for music in addition to a fun and refreshingly accessible dance party.