I generally don’t go in for sets when it’s just going to be a guy behind a laptop. I listened to Mister Lies new release Mowgli and decided to check him out because there is something in his music that gets into your head. He was doing an opening set for the Montreal band Young Galaxy, and it didn’t seem like there was much interest on the part of their fans to get to Schubas early. I walked in to a room with about eight people in it, which jumped to maybe 25 once the music started. Despite the low turnout, Mister Lies remained focused and delivered a short but entertaining set.
No one was more into the music than the man on stage. He was dancing and manipulating sounds with gusto. There was nothing in the way of banter with the audience, which is probably customary during a set like this. He had an elaborate light show behind him the whole time (which meant the lights were all off and it was nearly impossible to take pictures) that seemed to work well with the music he was playing. I really liked his segues from the ambient trance-like stuff to the more dancey grooves he’s so adept at making.
The show wasn’t spectacular, just good. I don’t think that set would convince someone who’s never heard him before to run out and buy his music-in fact, I enjoy listening to his album on my own more than I liked watching him play live. That said, it was fun to see him work. He definitely had a vision for how he wanted it to go, and he was diligent in making it happen. That kind of attention to detail is admirable, especially considering a lot of openers in his situation would half-ass it and just get through as quickly as possible.
Mister Lies (Nick Zanca) is a Chicago-based artist currently preparing for an east coast tour. You can pick up a copy of Mowgli, which is a good listen, on his Bandcamp page.