Author: Nathan Allen Sihakom
When there’s lightning, you’d usually expect thunder. Going into the Majestic to watch Thundercat perform, we’re treated to swirling lights along the backdrop of the iconic Thundercat logos. There were shirts and posters for sale with various Thundercat images. I myself came in with a t-shirt of cats flying in space, ready to roar with the rest of the crowd.
Going into Thundercat’s show, there was a sense of oddball eccentricity. I felt almost thrown into an 1980s club, as the first performer Saco & Uno, a kid (at least he looks like a kid) hailing from Tokyo, Japan, was licking the keyboard and making his synthesizers scream along to hip beats.
I moved up to the balcony of the Majestic, overwatching the focused lighting onto the haze of Saco & Uno performing. The lights went red, spotlighting Saco & Uno. He’s manipulating sound from his synthesizer. The music stops, but he continues to make loud screeching noises, as if it was someone trying to tune a radio with the volume elevated times a thousand.
Sitting up on the balcony, we mostly get the upper frequencies of sound, especially since the speaker system at the Majestic are line arrays. Line arrays are a bunch of speakers stacked on top of each other and scientifically angled to spread out sound. They tower on each side of the stage at the Majestic. A subwoofer typically plays the lower frequencies or notes, and so people by the stage as opposed to us on the balcony will get to feel that BOOM and rattle we all love at concerts, getting that tingling throughout our bodies. So being upstairs on the balcony, we just get the hits of all the high screeching ringing noises without much bass, so it’s almost tortuous. Saco & Uno goes on to play around with this loud noise making until finally his set goes back to music, of 80’s pop synth-vibe until his set ends.
The next performer was a DJ wearing a white long sleeve Goku shirt, as well as playing around with grimey trap beats and sounds. I’m in the crowd now waving my hands, feeling that bass.
A big applaud starts. A man wearing an LA Dodgers cap, a hip striped long sleeve, shiny red with golden patterned Boxers shorts, and wearing long X-men socks walks up front and center to grab the HUGE orange guitar put in center stage. The crowd cheers. It was as if watching Optimus Prime grab a big sword off the rocks and ready to do battle.
The backdrop of the stage consist of Thundercat logos. The drummer, the keyboardist, and violinist all join to do battle with the Thundercat man himself. It was very peculiar looking at the violinist because he wasn’t using a traditional violin. Firstly it was white as opposed to orange violins I was used to as well as it wasn’t hefty looking. It was mounted or attached with something rather, and it seems to be connected to the laptop he had with him. Maybe it uses some sort of program so that he can play different sounds with his violin. Thundercat’s guitar had a bunch of effects pedals so that he can change the sounds generating from him playing.
As Thundercat starts wailing on his guitar, it almost sounds like he’s playing an organ but at blazing speed on the guitar. As matter fact, I believe it might actually be a bass that he’s playing. It had 6 strings, which might confirm my recollection that Thundercat plays an unconventional 6-string bass. Unconventional is a good and appropriate word to use because the whole show itself was unconventional.
Thundercat begins to sing, and with such an opposing/towering figure, the most angelic sweet voice came from him, in a soft falsetto. The band began rocking out an almost a psychedelic vibe. Cats and haze and Dragonball Z. Thundercat asked us the audience if we loved cats and Dragonball Z. I thought this show was made for me this night because here I am wearing a shirt with cats flying in space, and my car has a toy figuring of Vegata mounted on my dash, as well as a Goku decal on the bumper.
Thundercat’s whole set became just a long succession of the climactic part of a rock song, where all the instrumentalists just jam out as the guitar solo wails along. It was like Woodstock in the dark, with trippy lights at Thundercat’s Majestic show. There wasn’t much dancing, as we just watched along to the drummer fiercely going at it, trying to finish a race.
Thundercat ends with a thank you and walks off. We all screamed out knowing something was missing. We began chanting as the lights of the venue popped on for the end of the show. Cheers as we got the drummer back onto the stage, looping a very familiar drum beat. Thundercat and the band back come back to the stage, for a finale of the song he made so addicting. They began to play “Them Changes,” his hit single to close out the show. We all erupted in joy, as the night ended with my favorite tune of his.