February 15th, 2011 | Live reviews

Kid Infinity’s “3-D Live!,” which took place at the ballroom of the Alexandria Hotel, was a visual masterpiece. Moving cubes were still the main theme, but the surreal scenes that surrounded singer Ryan Pardeiro were smoother and more developed than the backgrounds of KI’s first 3-D show last year at the Smell. They seemed “bigger” in an epic sense. At the Smell, the spectacle had the effect of a crooked Tetris game. At the Alexandria, I felt like I was inside Luke Skywalker’s helmet as he took down the Death Star. It was otherworldly.

Only a year after emerging from the artsy Eastside clique with the video for “PYCO,” KI is officially a big deal. Saturday’s extravaganza, with its $15 door price and ornate setting, had the air of a coronation. With the exception of openers Captain Ahab and a handful of guest-listed friends, the event was populated mostly by curious strangers who’d heard the hype surrounding the stereoscopy. Those strangers were certainly not disappointed. With significant help from their friend Kid Static, Ryan and band mate Nathan Huber gave them an incredible performance unlike anything that anyone else is doing. 3-D Live! was the ultimate dance party, and the sold-out crowd was head-over-heels for its grandeur. It was exciting to see these guys, who I first saw perform to a crowd of maybe ten people at L’Keg in 2009, enjoying life as established harbingers of a phatter, flashier future.

The only thing missing was the music. Nathan’s synth leads weren’t audible over the ricocheting beats in the cavernous ballroom, and Ryan was reduced to a few pre-recorded background vocals that occasionally poked through the mix. It was a shame to hear Kid Infinity’s songs pummeled into mush, not only because the visuals had been produced with such hard work and care but because the music is excellent. The first time I saw the duo, the only effect they had was a rotating disco light. I wasn’t impressed by the pyrotechnics, but I was an immediate fan of the smart arrangements, soaring choruses, and clever words. Despite the light show’s exponential improvement, those musical elements were all buried by bass on Saturday. I couldn’t help but wonder if the strangers were leaving as new fans of Kid Infinity, or if they were just stoked on “that 3-D rave we saw.”

I have faith in KI, though. They’ve designed a portable 3-D galaxy in which to perform, so they can master ballroom sound design. When they do, they’ll be unstoppable.

—Geoff Geis