Final Fantasy consists of Owen Pallett, who adopted the name from the video game and has yet to have a copyright lawsuit on his hands. Accompanied by his friends, Nifty and Cadence Weapon, Pallett played one of the best shows that I have ever seen at the Troubadour in Hollywood last Sunday.
Nifty opened the night for Pallet, coming on stage and saying, “Hi, I’m Nifty, but my real name is Matt.” He exclaimed that he was just going to talk to us for his set instead of playing music. He then began to ask questions about the recent fires, like if they were still burning in San Diego.
After expressing his concern for the fires, he began to produce music. I say “produce” because live, Nifty is a production. He began by recording a small vocal track and looping it, adding layers and layers of complexity to each successive loop. Resembling a kid with ADD, Nifty is all over the place with his hands, adjusting different levels to produce different sounds, much like Animal Collective. Seeing him perform is akin to a build-up of emotion: When it ends, you experience a euphoric release of energy.
Cadence Weapon took a different approach to the scene. With DJ Weasel on the turntables, Cadence Weapon provided an indie rap punctuated by his dancing around stage like the Energizer Bunny. Playing with the mic stand as if it were a stripper pole, Cadence Weapon’s performance was extremely entertaining. Between sets, he exclaimed that he had “never seen so many busted cars than in L.A.” And although Pallett said that “statistically only three people have heard of Cadence Weapon,” Cadence Weapon was able to entertain the 100 plus people in the crowd.
The Troubadour is a small venue consisting of a small stage with no barricades to separate the musician from the fans. This lends itself perfectly to Pallett’s type of music and the connection that he builds with the crowd, a fact that became evident as soon as he stepped onstage.
Pallett’s performance was nothing short of amazing, as he used replay pedals to create his music onstage. The fans in the audience were able to witness the production of songs step by step.
But it is not just the creation of music that brings the audience closer to Pallett. It is also his use of drawings and graphics displayed via an overhead projector that displays his music as a true art form.
Pallett’s personality is also something to be admired, as he exclaimed, “Los Angeles needs more intimacy” and that we need to “stop watching YouTube.” But we were told not to look to him for intimacy, since many of his songs are full of angst. After starting to play piano and having a sip of wine, he told the audience, “I hope I don’t fulfill that stereotypical wine-drinking, piano-player type.”