Conspirator is no stranger to the big lights, big stage and thousands of screaming fans. This is all due to their success in previous bands that have made a significant name for themselves. Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner of The Disco Biscuits, Chris Michetti of RAQ and Mike Greenfield of Lotus are Conspirator. The band has rotating drummers and as easily as this band gets labeled a “side-project,” they could quickly become the scene’s equivalent of a super group. Conspirator has reached another level. As a full band, the music is hitting new highs and killing in the live show. They produce a rapid-fire sound that blissfully combines ripping guitar solos which is culminates to a collection of live electronic rock bliss that is delving, twisting and diving effortlessly between house, dub-step, drum and bass, and electro.
Opening up for the quartet on this blustery 5 degree night in Asheville was the Dub / Electro / Hip Hop duo from New York- Break Science – featuring the machine like drumming of Adam Deitch of Pretty Lights and the samples of Borahm Lee also on keyboards and programming. Lee also busted out a melodica for a few tracks adding somewhat of a livetronic sound yet always retaining an electro feel. After just releasing the EP Further Than Our Eyes Can See on January 25th the duo had a plethora of danceable and moving tracks to perform. And the drumming of Deitch while sometimes overshadowed in Pretty Lights was nothing less than remarkable with Break Science. Needless to say, they set the bar high for what was to come.
The Orange Peel was host to a different breed of people that I frequently see at shows. Dinosaur hoodies, giant furry boots, some decked out in glow sticks that could fill a bathtub, I was in a different walk of life, which was entertaining, to say the least. The one noticeable difference was that every single person in the crowd was totally entranced in the music. Glancing over the crowd, it was a sea of movement. I believe it’s because Conspirator looks to dig deeper into the possibilities of electronic music and live instruments. With the addition of Chris Michetti (RAQ), and KJ Sawka (Pendulum) back in 2012, the group transformed into a complete unit that has been gracing us with incredible and unique music ever since which explains the large crowd.
Break Science opened with their electrifying blend of Hip-Hop, Electronic Bass music, and Trap to kick off the night right, and do more than just warm up the crowd. I always love electronic groups who utilize a live drummer, and Break Science is a perfect example of that. Their ability to read a crowd is top notch, and they definitely had me sweating by the end of their set. Break Science left the crowd well prepped for Conspirator to take the stage.
I have been listening to their “Unleashed” EP they recently released ever since it came out, so I thought I had an idea of what was to come, but little did I know, their live show is unlike anything you could prepare yourself for. They are pioneering a sound that is different from anything out right now. Their Jam Band background meshed with their love for current electronic music leads to a perfect blend of live instrumentation with a fist pumping Electro bounce and Gritty Dubstep rhythms.
Aron, Marc, Chris, and KJ are such experts at their individual craft that you would think that at times one artist could out shine the others, but that is definitely not the case. This band works like a cohesive unit with the ability to improvise flawlessly, and take a track in any direction they want. You will see Aron maning the keys and the APC while Marc delivers the funk on his bass. You take a look towards the back of the stage and KJ is breaking drum sticks left and right, while keeping perfect rhythm and providing the backbone to each track. When Chris closes his eyes and starts to shred a guitar solo, expect your dancing to be nearly uncontrollable and the vibes to be through the roof, which happened to me and the rest of the crowd many times that night.