Reviews > Shows
BioDiesel, Theta Delta Chi House, Ithaca, NY, 11/20/09
Normally when you see crowds of people waiting to get into a Cornell fraternity house, it’s easy to guess what’s going on inside: hundreds of cans of Keystone Light, obnoxiously loud hip-hop, a 45-minute wait for a game of beer pong, and more drunken, belligerent freshman than you can handle. But on this November night, the clusters of people entering Theta Delta Chi (lovingly nicknamed “Thumpty”) were anticipating a different kind of party.
While Thumpty’s Grand Hall is normally filled with comfortable couches and coffee tables, the room was cleared out for a dance party with livetronica duo BioDiesel topping the bill. With the addition of a small stage and the house’s professional grade sound system, the common space was truly transformed into a fully functional concert hall.
After an opening set by local DJ duo, The Electric Duck Parade, the crowd was primed for BioDiesel’s high-energy intelligent dance music. Comprised of drummer Johnny Rabb and bassist Clay Parnell, the duo took the stage and segued directly from the DJ set, immediately establishing an enormous wall of sound by layering its instruments with loops, samples and voicings.
Opening with a serene “Mello Tone,” Parnell and Rabb continually pushed the set into a mixture of drum-n-bass, jungle and hypotonic rhythms that threw the crowd into a frenzy with every new tune. With crowd-pleasers like “Pop King” featuring Michael Jackson samples over Parnell’s deep, effect-heavy bass lines and Rabb’s tireless drum beats, BioDiesel grabbed the audience’s undivided attention for the entirety of the two-hour set.
With explosive, driving progressions, haymakers like “Powering Down” and “Beach Blanket” energized the audience, as hands were raised all the way to the back of the room.
After finishing the first set, BioDiesel re-took the stage for an intimate late-night VIP performance. Mixing in a monstrous “KGB” with a series of heavily experimental tunes, the duo kept the dance floor in motion until finally bidding Thumpty goodnight in the wee hours of the morning.
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