Live Performance Research

I saw De La soul last year at Nass festival, they are a classic Hip Hop group so their performance aspect was as artists, they had their DJ onstage with them who was playing all their tracks as backing track instrumentals. The Dj opened by playing 3 tracks on his own which he was splicing and mixing and scrubbing around like crazy as this big performance. He would do 360’s behind the decks , play with one hand behind his head, Play with his eyes closed- all these crazy things wich got the crowd so hyped up and cheering along. Starting off with this strong high energy set so we were more and more excited for the performers, I thought this was brilliant as he perfected the role of a warm up support act and an explosive high energy DJ hand in hand.

they were getting the whole crowd hyped up and everyone was singing along and clapping in time. They got the crowd involved by splitting the audience into two parts and  getting each side to say one part of a lyric against each other. E.G left side “De la De la De la” Right side “You can’t F*ck with De la” which was brilliant and gave such a buzz and energy to the crowd. The lighting was very intense and over the top with added to the mental ness of the performance, on tracks like 3 is the magic number and ‘me myself and I’ the lighting changed colour when the heavy bass and snare pounded on beat. There was an effect on some of plug one and plug two’s vocals which caused a delay and slight reverb which worked perfectly for some of their tracks because it allowed them to layer over the top of each other and themselves. There was lots of panning as well which boosted the audience joining in effect because it sounded like one of the two performers vocals were speaking directly to you on which side you were standing. On the screens behind them they had an image with DE LA SOUL written across it in a groovy font with some funky colours or art around it, this image changed every couple of songs to suit the tracks vibe. When they played ‘Me , myself and I” the video wall was this really trippy psychedelic style image with floral writing, this bended round twisting and contorting in time with the track wich was visually very impressive and aesthetically pleasing. This worked brilliantly as a retort back to their style in the 80s/90s were they were all about peace and love and psychedelia and colour, very different from the typical gangsta rap Hip Hop scene of that time. They coined the Phrase ‘The Daisy Age.’ They had a gradual fogginess which was surrounding their feet the whole time which looked so cool in the lighting as it created this Strobey shadowy effect and the smokiness was curling and twisting around the stage lights. Towards the end of the show when they were doing their last couple songs they had massive billows of steam coming out of these pipes going into the crowd and around them on the stage. This mixed with the fast paced changing of colour in pace with the music was so mesmiring and created such an electricity and power in the auditorium.

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YouTube. (2019). DJ Premier & De La Soul Live at Somerset House London 14/07/18. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].


I recently watched a video online of a performance from Coachella in 2014, In the video there was a holographic moving image of Tupac that was designed to perform a realistic and lifelike set. Originally i thought this was a weird idea but after watching he looked so HD and lifelike it was hard to tell he was holographic. It started with some old pre recorded audio of tupac starting a live show saying things like “what’s up party people” and who’s ready to rock da house” which were real things said on stage by The man himself, after that he screams “What the f*ck is up Coachella” with has clearly been edited and dubbed with his voice as he was never alive to perform at a previous Coachella festival. For the first part of the set the stage is very dark with not much lighting going on which emphasises his figure and made him stand out powerfully to the crowd. You can tell how in awe an emotional the crowd is from the array of gasps and “oh my God’s” followed by cheering and support. The animators have done a sterling Job recreating his stage presence as he even does things like point up to the sky and throw gang signs at the crowd, the whole time he is bobbing and swaying to the beat as well like he can actually hear it, I think this has a very powerful effect as it brings the performance to life.(Literally)

About half way through the set these big overhead lights come on and colours start swirling round on stage, clearly signifying something monumental is going to happen. This is a good effect for live performances because it builds suspense in the audience.It adds an electricity and eagerness which then makes the eventual pay out that much more satisfying.Suddenly out of the darkness emerges the real life- in the flesh, Snoop Dogg. This is extremely well received by the audience you can hear the screams and cheers fill the whole stage. He comes onstage to accompany Pac for their song “Aint nothin but a gangster Party” The intro plays as he walks on. This is a crazy surreal thing to watch because not only is the Hollographic Tupac a marvel for the eyes but to be joined by the living Snoop Dogg is a strange but very powerful combination. This would have been very emotional for snoop as you can hear in his vocal tone, he is happy to be performing once again  with his old friend and putting on a show like they did together when they first rose up. But deeply saddened that it is all an event that’s been put on and it’s not his real partner, Snoop has spoke out in interviews saying he will never truly get over the death of Tupac Shakur so it’s very humble of him to still put on a killer show with a hologram at one of the worlds most well known festival.

YouTube. (2019). 2PAC HOLOGRAM LIVE Coachella | RARE | | High Quality | | HD |. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Oct. 2019].

I like the effect that lighting adds to any live performance i find it really brings them to life and makes them visually gripping as well as sounding good. So i think lighting will be key in my own performance, i find it has a great effect when the lights are dimmed and then come alive on certain parts such as the main chorus or hook part, it also looks very aesthetically pleasing when there’s a light show, e,g changing colours, lazers, making wavy patterns around the stage. One part of our sound to picture is very high energy so lighting will be very important as it brings the vibe to life, vice versa we have a much slower more relaxed song which will require more chilled, edgy mood lighting.Colours are very important as they help convey a certain emotion. I believe this will make it a much more enjoyable experience for the watcher as it’s another layer on top of audio and visual footage.

I am Producing my track with heavy influence of devices like panning, reverb and layered vocals because i feel this will put flavour and depth into the live performance. I was very inspired by De La Soul and their audience involvement which was too partly down to the production. So i will try and replicate this in my track. E.G strong emphasis on some words and Phrases by having them in the backing track and being spoken live. And panning some lyrics from one side of the audience to the other to make the crowd feel immersed.

Research Links: (2020). DJ Lighting & Stage Effects | Musician’s Friend. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020]. (2020). Concert Lighting Techniques – Know The Rig or The Show? | – Stage Lighting Tutorials, Information and How To. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020]. (2020). Journal of Pyrotechnics | State-of-the-art research on fireworks and pyrotechnics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020].

Billboard. (2020). Tupac, Michael Jackson, Gorillaz & More: A History of the Musical Hologram. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020].

Mic. (2020). How Creepy Holographic Concerts Are Transforming the Future of the Music Business. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020]. (2020). Theatrical smoke and fog. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020]. (2020). Mixing Tips: The Importance of Panning. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Jan. 2020].

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