Walking out of The Warfield Theater on Sunday night I proudly proclaimed myself a Justice veteran. This was the sixth time I witnessed the French electro duo perform behind their monolithic glowing cross. For a band that should be commended for their consistency, repetition and a mastery of their style, it’s an an injustice to just say their performance gets better every time. Justice got it right the first time I saw them in March of 2008 and haven’t strayed from this high standard since.
Like biblical clockwork, every Justice show I’ve seen begins with “Genesis.” On Sunday, at The Warfield, it was the “Star Spangled Banner” mixed with “Genesis” that kicked off the show. Situated precisely in between two walls of illuminated boxes (disguised as Marshall amps) Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay meticulously pushed buttons and twisted knobs for a 90 minute set. As always, Justice brought it hard with explosive guitar lines and thumping drum beats–all set to a decibel that could make your ears cry. For about 90% of the show de Rosnay kept a cigarette lit in his mouth. I’m sure Augé would have done the same if it wasn’t for the bushy curls of hair that draped his face all night.
The crowd was both ecstatic and eclectic. There were strung out youngsters and sweaty old dudes all there with a sincere objective: to get down. Glow sticks were thrown, neon pink hair was whipped back and forth and arms raised to the sky as the duo played (and replayed) hits like “D.A.N.C.E.” and “On’n’On.”
There were several times during the night when the illuminated cross podium opened up to reveal a keyboard. Augé and de Rosnay took turns laying down the melody while the other managed the electronic riffs.
The night was capped when Augé held up a French flag and then wrapped himself in it.