By Walanya Vongsvirates
While Diplo’s concert at Lawlor Events Center last Thursday adequately pumped the crowd up for Homecoming weekend, the popular electronic dance music producer’s Reno performance was surprisingly tame.
For some of you, that may not seem possible, considering there were girls twerking onstage and “expressing” themselves while doing handstands, but that’s pretty standard for a Diplo show.
Diplo usually brings fire, both literally and figuratively, to the stage, but this show lacked effort from the artist. His set primarily consisted of hits by other artists with minimal changes to them, and it didn’t seem like he put much thought into what he was playing.
For the most part, this didn’t seem to severely hinder the crowd’s interest. The audience was dancing and singing along for most of the concert.
Diplo kicked off the night with the recently released Jack U track “Take U There.” Although the song, created by Jack U, the Diplo/Skrillex collaboration, featured a fine mix of both of the artists’ signature traits, it set a surprisingly mainstream tone for the concert.
“Take U There” is different from other Jack U songs; it doesn’t quite have that fast-paced beat and has a stronger focus on the lyrical elements than anything else. There was just enough bass to get the crowd a bit excited, but not much more.
That said, it’s no surprise that he played crowd favorites like “Biggie Bounce,” “Express Yourself” and “6th Gear.” The crowd reacted best to the original Diplo mixes. Unfortunately, the number of overplayed remixes of other artists outweighed the number of original hits.
It was a disappointment to hear him play so many remixes of Top 40 music, which included “Summer” by Calvin Harris and “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey. He did decent mixes of the songs, but playing so many covers devalued him as a live entertainer.
Diplo partially made up for this by playing several songs from his Major Lazer collaboration, and collaborations he’s done with other Mad Decent artists but still, it felt lazy and inauthentic to hear that much work done by other artists with minimal changes to the songs.
People wanted to hear the gritty beats, unexpected drops and unique rhythms of Diplo’s music, not overplayed remixes of other artists. He made the mistake of playing most of his original hits in the beginning of the show.
When he played original songs such as “Freak” and “Revolution,” everyone went wild. He amped the crowd up with those songs, and they loved it. People were singing along and shuffling all over the place.
It was apparent that the crowd was comparably unimpressed with the concert’s latter half. Diplo had to pull girls onstage to dance to keep the crowd’s attention, but even then, the energy level never really matched the beginning of the night.
Towards the concert’s end, it seemed like he was playing random songs just to fill up time. The crowd went from rapidly jumping up and down to swaying and looking at their phones. The momentum quickly died after Diplo ran out of hits to play.
To add insult to injury, the last few songs were mellow house tunes that don’t fit the normally crazy and chaotic Diplo set list.
Diplo is an amazing artist and he had some really great highlights to his show, but he could have gone harder. If he added more of his style into the songs he remixed, the momentum of the show could have kept going, but instead it faded as the show dragged on.
Diplo’s performance lacked a sense of originality and effort. The crowd was energized and seemed to enjoy the entire concert, but the show just didn’t reach the normal caliber of a Diplo concert.
Walanya Vongsvirates can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.