July 21st, 2009 5:33 pm | by RICHARD SPEER Music | Posted In: Columns, Live Cuts

Live Review: Infected Mushroom, Thursday, July 16 @ Roseland Theater

posterInfected Mushroom didn't just take the Roseland by storm, they took it by force, took it hostage, and took it down. I've dug the Israeli-formed, L.A.-based DJ duo for years but had never seen them live until this performance, part of their tour promoting the September release of their new album, Legend of the Black Shawarama.

By the end of this long-awaited show, however, I was more exhausted than exhilarated.
While Erez Aizen and Amit Duvdevani's hard-driving beats are well-known to anyone with a pair of ears, what doesn't register in recordings is the grinding visual and visceral impact of Duvdevani's strutting, preening, pacing, manically needy bravado. With his muscle-bound torso and glossy, Right-Said-Fred pate, Duvdevani (nicknamed Duvdev) endeavored mightily to choreograph the crowd into fever pitch. He whipped his beefy arms around, shook his fist in the air as if harnessing the room's collective energy, and at one point grabbed a drum stick and brandished it at concert-goers like a conductor's baton. When the crowd didn't elevate their vibes to this would-be Toscanini's satisfaction, he'd stomp away like a disappointed personal trainer, circle around erratically, and finally deign to return and grant the slackers another chance.

Old concert photo of Duvdev:
the duv'

While a strong persona is an asset to any performer, Duvdev's drill-sargeant exhortations were so grimly self-referential, they came across as megalomaniacal. He might have found more success with a less calisthenic approach—say, allowing the music and lyrics to rise by their own intrinsic merits.

Blessedly, Portland-based opening acts Pipedream and Phutureprimitive had a more generous, audience-directed approach. The ultra-chilled Phutureprimitive, in particular, floated on miasmas of balm and bliss, buoyed by Alyssa Palmer's dulcet vocals.

Infected MushroomSpace

Poster is of indeterminate origin, but we liked it.
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