Energy drink company Red Bull has received a ton of praise as of recently for being a type of Robin Hood figure for music lovers across the country. Their mission is simple: book amazing artists at intimate venues for a low-cost. How low are we talking? Prices vary but with an RSVP you're looking at about $3 per person, something that's nearly unheard of these days.
With a ton of soda, energy, and alcoholic drinks looking to break into the EDM market, Red Bull really proved their role as a stand out company via their Red Bull Sound Select imprint last November when their '30 Days In LA' campaign booked the likes of Grimes, Big Sean, Flume, Chromeo, Vince Staples, Kaytranada, and more for a whopping $15 a night. If you weren't a fan of Red Bull then this might have been a good place to start.
Now we're into the Summer and shows have been popping up on everyone's radar from the Sound Select team, but the one that caught our eye the most was one hosting the likes of Bishop Nehru and Tortoise at The Regent in Downtown Los Angeles.
Bishop Nehru is a hip-hop artist from New York who's talent has gained him widespread attention from the main stream and underground communities alike. In August 2014 he truly made a dent in the scene with the release of NehruvianDOOM, a collaborative album with hip-hop's most notorious villain MF Doom, mind you this was all at the age of 18.
Now having recently turned 20 Bishop Nehru performed his first show in Los Angeles for the Red Bull Sound Collective and we couldn't have been more stoked on the outcome. From the get go the kid seemed like a natural, he worked up a crowd from chill to turnt in a matter of tracks. His lyricism kept the intellectuals in place but the booming low-end shook the floor making those who were already tipsy a bit more loose around the edges. A perfect warmup for what was to come.
In the midst of an over 20 year career and a new record from this past Winter, the band known as Tortoise took their reigns on The Regent to a crowd full of what seemed like long time devoted followers. Based on the very few tracks I had heard previously I was imagining this show would be more on the side of fusion and jazz but it did not take long to realize that this post-rock group was more a fan of textures and noise than anything. The group conducted an array of instrumental pieces often beginning minimal and progressing with driving repetitive grooves. Their use of two drumsets came in handy at times where percussion overrode the melodic aspects of the band to create really monumental layers of sounds. In addition, the electronic and acoustic mallets placed on both sides of the stage added a unique timbre to the group's sound when performed along side their analog synth setup and heavily effected guitar tones. The group thrived on experimentalism and we couldn't help but stay glued to the quality of musicianship each member had when switching between instruments, which they did for almost every piece.
Overall Red Bull came in clutch with a solid night of challenging yet entertaining performances and we would highly reccomend catching them on a date seeing as they've got cities booked across the U.S. until October.