On Saturday, Kid Infinity dropped the same meticulously calibrated songs that have become their standards over the last few months. The set started small and spacey with the synthesized arpeggio that builds into LA anthem “Salt and Candy,” then it took a trip through the sing-songy “Lone Wolves” and the I.E. cover “Good Ole American,” and then finally exploded into the frenzied climax of “P.Y.C.O.” and “The Big Why.” The duo sweated in the Smell’s oppressively hot back room, MC Ryan Pardeiro strutted and stomped around the stage aggressively, and DJ Nathan Huber stood behind the decks while he coolly executed the group’s party-propelling electro hip-hop with a Zen-like calm.
After the group’s February video premiere at the Downtown Independent and a subsequent run of high-energy shows at spaces like Pehrspace and the Nomad Gallery, Kid Infinity has become my favorite live act in town. So an excellent show was to be expected. The exceptional supporting cast that they chose, featuring the manifestly talented Kid Static and the frenetic and violent Juiceboxxx, was also pretty normal for these guys.
Yet Kid Infinity is nothing if not ambitious, and this show was nothing close to normal. On Saturday, there were cubes that popped out of the wall behind the group and danced. There were twisted Tetris lines that seemed to curl around Ryan as he bounced. Flames leaped out of the screen and into the audience, and during “Good Ole American” there was a giant image of I.E.’s Margot Padilla that materialized for a split second to puke something onto Nathan’s head. There were, in short, a shitload of crazy things that none of us had ever seen within the context of a musical performance. If I wasn’t at the Smell, where drugs are prohibited, I would have been convinced that I was on drugs.
The extravaganza was so otherworldly and so iconoclastic that it might as well have been a dream. Did this really happen? Did two stoned scenesters really co-opt the 3-D technology that was designed for Michael Jackson’s ill-fated London comeback shows in order to sell out the Smell and turn it into a full-on rave? Did we actually just go to our favorite neighborhood all-ages spot to witness the future of high-tech arena shows?
I guess we did. I’ve seen pictures, at least, that lead me to believe that the show indeed happened and that I was indeed there. I’m still flabbergasted, though. I don’t really know what to say that could do it justice.
If you weren’t at the Smell for Kid Infinity in 3-D, you fucked up royally.