What can you say about Moby, particularly a Moby sporting a Bad Brains shirt? I had anticipated seeing a DJ set of his for months after stumbling upon the last five minutes of his set in Austin for SXSW this year, which involved kids standing on picnic tables, climbing trees, general hooliganism popularly sighted at this festival. Paying tribute to part of his roots (Moby grew up playing in punk bands), this is precisely what has made Moby Moby over the last two decades — the ability to fuse together multiple genres, taking a principally techno base and throwing in whatever seemingly incompatible genre (say, punk and techno!) he is into at the moment. Bad Brains did just this, fusing punk and reggae — it was a fitting outfit for him to don. For me, it was a pleasure to just see the man, even if it was for a DJ set and not what I would have preferred to see; Moby live.
Nonetheless, his set predictably mirrored the in-studio he did at KEXP several hours earlier in the afternoon, a set full of hard techno and frequent builds in which the tones seemed to turn themselves inside out, only to fall back in line with the thump of the fast-paced downbeat several bars later. For me, the highlight of his set was when he sampled his own iconic hits, “Porcelain” being my favorite of the several he incorporated. His DJ persona was delightfully entertaining — you could tell he was genuinely enjoying himself, jumping up and down with his arms in the air, karate-chopping, wincing with his teeth bared as if trying to will the machines to reach a maximum climax before the city kids danced yet harder than before. Ultimately, Moby has become a creature of the city for the city and, while this was certainly not my scene, it was fun for a night.