Review: Cosby Sweater @ The Mousetrap Bar-Grill w/DJ Hollow Point and Shy Guy Says—2/16/13

  • After much anticipation, the time had finally arrived for Cosby Sweater to headline an evening of solid local EDM musicians. Shy Guy Says(Bloomington) and DJ Hollow Point(Indy), both members G-9 Collective(group of EDM DJs based out of Indy), were the openers for the amazing night of electronic music. The night began with DJ Hollow Point delivering a solid set of drum-n-bass, as usual. I must admit, DnB is hit or miss for me, but I never get tired of listening to Hollow Point’s live mixing and robust tempos. I just feel when a DJ adds turntables to their repertoire it adds much more to the music and allows for more glowing stage presence. Technical difficulties cut the set slightly short, but it most certainly didn’t detract from the quality of music, with the set featuring a nice flow of tempos, beats, and breaks. Truly a solid start to the evening and primed the swelling crowd for a fun night ahead.

    After a brief intermission, Shy Guy Says took the stage, adorned with his usual white mask of “Shy Guy”, the character from Super Mario Brothers 2. I always have an incredible time watching Shy Guy pop around the stage in perfect step with his well-executed glitches. His set featured high energy hip hop beats, raunchy dubstep, and a pleasant presentation of glitch hop tracks. It was really fun to watch the crowd react to his music and stage presence. With dubstep gaining in popularity and so many artists butchering the sound, it is refreshing to hear Shy Guy present it well-layered and not watered down at all. Also, it is pretty amazing to see an artist develop and mature in such a short span of time. Many EDM artists find what works for them and don’t really stray too far from that realm, but in the last year I’ve heard Shy Guy explore several different styles of electronic music. The enormous crowd truly fed off of his energy and his set ended in typical SGS fashion, amazingly.

    I found myself giddy when it was finally time for Cosby Sweater to take the stage. This is my third time reviewing Cosby, but the first time they’ve headlined an event I’ve reviewed. So, I was quite interested to see what they had in store for the jam-packed Mousetrap. Cosby started the first of their two sets with “Peanut Butter and Jealous”, the sultry electronic jazz track off of their album Hey Girl Hey. Given the hard-hitting nature of their music, this was an interesting start to the evening, providing Cosby with the opportunity to deliver a nice upward flow in tempo for the first set of music. Nicholas Gerlach(Tenor Sax, EWI), was the force behind the song, churning out perfectly executed jazz notes from his tenor saxophone perfectly meshing with CS’s unique electronic sound. Without stopping, the heavy and dance inspiring electro sound quickly made its presence known when the guys delivered a relentless onslaught of caffeinated tempos with “PBJ” playing directly into “Open Mouth Kiss”. Cosby continued pounding out the supercharged tempo, still without stopping during “Hole>Landing Gear>Hole>Challenge!>”. Richard “Sleepy” Floyd(drums) pounded away at the drums, holding the supercharged electro sound together. The start of the first set showed the crowd Cosby meant business and were ready to test their limits.

    The second half of the first set easily transcended the already amazing start. Next, fans were treated with an amazing new track called “Sex Journey”. I must admit, I absolutely love every time I’ve heard David Embry(turntables/production) provide vocals to their music. Some sets I’ve seen haven’t featured any vocals, but tonight we were all given the pleasure of hearing Embry showcase his vocals on multiple tracks. “Sex Journey” was definitely a solid track and clearly showing how amazingly unique Cosby’s music sounds and how much fun the guys have on stage playing together. “Dance Yrslf Clean”, the absolutely incredible LCD Soundsystem track, was covered next and was easily my favorite song of the evening. It also featured Embry on vocals and even featured Embry invoking crowd participation during the chorus. I love the song, love the few times I’ve heard Cosby cover it, and love the feeling that permeates throughout my body when I hear it live. The first set ended with “The Huxtable Hustle>Mountain(remix of the Eliot Lipp track)”, rounding out an amazing set of music.

    After a short break, Cosby Sweater took the stage and returned with their musical mastery for their second set. The second set started off with a bang, featuring Cosby’s track “Swerve” playing directly into their remix of Thievery Corporations “Culture of Fear”. The non-stop hard pushing tempos being delivered by Cosby were truly remarkable. Equally as impressive as the music was the fun trading back and forth between owning the stage by each member of the group. It is quite obvious these guys are enjoying playing music together, which is what how it’s supposed to be. Without stoppage, the guys continued on with their remix of the New Deal’s “VL Tone”, an unbelievably amazing rendition of one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite electronic groups. These guys do it right. Their music meshes so well together and they truly capture the original essence of each track they sample or remix. Another special treat of the evening was when Embry’s vocals re-entered the evening during their cover of the Disco Biscuits’ “Feeling Twisted”. As a former(emphasis on former) huge fan of the Biscuits, it was pretty awesome to hear someone play their music well. Honestly, it is the best Bisco I’ve heard in over 3 years and it didn’t even contain a single member of the group.

    The second half of the second set featured their mashup of Outkast and SBTRKT tracks, with the best portion of the song featuring Outkast’s “Hey Ya”. This portion of the set also featured the track “#coolstorybro”, which is also the title track off of their upcoming EP, one which I can’t wait to hear. When Embry was giving his praise to those who came and telling of the upcoming EP he also told the crowd about the recent announcement that they’ll be opening up for Lotus in Boulder quite soon. Wow, I wish I could be a part of that amazing night of music. Anyway, the set ended with the title track off of Hey Girl Hey. This song is a lot of fun and very silly. The second set I witnessed Nicholas Gerlach emerge even more than he has in the last year with regards to his stage presence. The music is working and Gerlach is obviously coming out of his shell. It is so much fun to see Gerlach and Embry feed off of each other while Sleepy bangs away at the drums. These guys are doing it right, and making waves not just locally but nationally. They maintain atop as my favorite local group and this evening featured the two best sets of music I’ve ever heard them play.

    Written by: Alex Toy

  • Photos by: Aaron Lingenfelter, Wide Aperture Images