The Midnight Juggernauts: Captivating Santiago Before the Clock Struck 12

Chile was shaken once more on April 22, 2010, but this time no damage was done. This quake rocked Santiago’s indie-electronic scene as the Midnight Juggernauts, along with 2 many DJ’s and The Twelves, arrived to kick off their Intimate Whirlwind tour.

Photo by Aune Ainson
Photo by Aune Ainson

The Midnight Juggernauts trio from Melbourne, Australia have toured with artists such as Justice and M83 on a string of sold-out shows and are finally touring solo promoting their newest release, The Crystal Axis (out on 28 May 2010).

Photo by Aune Ainson
Photo by Aune Ainson

The venue, the famous Teatro Caupolicán built in 1936, has hosted an array of diverse events over the years ranging from The Kooks and Megadeth to Russian ballet and Chilean boxing matches. Tonight it was eclectic dance and your faithful reporter managed to land an interview with the band who started the night off with their song, “Shadows,” from their first album, Dystopia.

"We don’t really define [the music] as dance or rock," said Andrew and Vincent of the Midnight Juggernauts (click here to read the entire interview).

Indeed, there were stragglers in the back who seemed to be deciding whether to dance club-style or do the indie two-step to the vintage synth sounds. But the trio made playing live look like as much fun as had by their dancing spectators with their wild variety of synths, effects pedals and other varied novelties.

“Probably for us, it’s that ‘energy’ on stage… [The Crystal Axis] still has a dance energy to it, but it’s not relying on the staples of dance music like a 4/4 key chord or those elements, but it still gets people moving… hopefully not to the exits!”

There is a difference between some of the more danceable beats of their first album and the less electro-pop-oriented, “more for the movie score and less for the dance floor” type songs more recently produced. But they skillfully mixed the new with the old; the rawer sounding, “This New Technology,” with the more danceable sounds found in the song, “Road to Recovery.”

Photo by Aune Ainson
Photo by Aune Ainson

The harmony between Andrew and Vincent’s voices is undeniably sexy. Vincent’s voice has been compared on many occasions to David Bowie --and rightfully so. It is deep and alluring, mysterious and captivating; with a name like Vincenzi Vendetta, we would expect nothing less.

Switching lead vocals for their song “Tombstone” using a vocoder (a synth system together with an encoder to ‘dehumanize’ the voice) revealed a more avant-garde, Trans Am/Daft Punk style.

They left the stage leaving behind obvious feelings of approbation from the crowd full of smiling, sweaty faces and conversations of expectations exceeded. Needless to say, no one in the room was ready to let them go.

These guys produce a brilliant, electric feel unmatched by others in the genre, if they can even be categorized. And the welcome message to the Chilean fans that missed them, and those waiting impatiently for their return: “We are definitely going to try to come to South America a lot more often in the future. We are looking at dates to come back here again this year.”

Midnight Juggernauts
Thursday 22 April 2010
Teatro Caupolican
Santiago, Chile
http://www.myspace.com/midnightjuggernauts

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