On a break between each weekend of Coachella, Justice and The Rapture lit up the Fox Theater in Oakland on Tuesday.
The Rapture was up to bat first. The New York City crew came out to a mostly empty venue, but they painted the night with a primer of dance-worthy indie rock. Their sound is equally at home in hipster hole-in-the-walls as it is in grand theaters, and by the end of their set that grand theater had begun to fill.
Though the set hit high notes during lovers-anthems like “How Deep Is Your Love,” it was clear that most in attendance were there for the headliner. Even though they put out one of the catchiest, and melodic songs of the last year, they were overlooked and out-down.
And Justice didn’t disappoint. It’s been about four years since the duo of French producers were in the Bay Area, and by the time they mounted their cross-bearing set-up of light and sound the sold-out show was packed to the brim. Decked out in leather, Marshall amps and religious-symbol, the essence of casual coolness reeked from the stage.
Justice is already past their level of peak career-buzz, which may have accounted for an older crowd than most electronic shows in the area. No raver-candi or light-shows, just a lot of badass vibes. Their sound was the propulsion for that atmosphere. It’s throaty and dark compared to the chirpy, ecstatic sounds of much of the dance music today. It carries the cockiness of hair-metal, but with a funky groove brought from the French-electro scene.
Their two-hour set held newer songs from their last album Audio, Video, Disco and older gems like “We Are Your Friends” and “Genesis.” The floor of the Fox was a constant wave of jumping humans, and the balcony was shaking non-stop with seismic activity. Justice may have been gone, but they weren’t forgotten.
Instead, they’re cementing their status as legends of electronic music, a beacon of cool in a hyperactive genre.