Deltron 3030 at House of Blues, 3/28/2014
"We're Deltron 3030 and we're back after a 13-year hiatus" quipped Dan the Automator at the start of Friday evening's performance. With the help of his fellow Deltrons -- rapper Del the Funky Homosapien and turntablist Kid Koala -- even after all that time away it seemed as if the quirky alt-hip-hop group didn't miss a beat upon their return to the stage.
While Deltron has had a few shows on this run already to warm up and rekindle the magic, they had little trouble bringing that same sound they were slinging around the turn of the century to House of Blues. Supported by a rhythm section, the trio brought undeniable chemistry to one of the best 90-minute live sets Houston has yet seen in 2014.
Kid Koala, who began the night with a solo performance, spent the majority of his 45-minute set flipping through vinyl with a precision and quickness. No wonder he had to wipe the sweat off his head after every tune. Starting out with a heavy helping of Beastie Boys, he spun his way through dancey chop-ups and spacey slow burners, plus some fun interplay halfway through on the remix he made for Yo! Gabba Gabba. Even though he said it was his "five-year-old's favorite tune," and obviously made for that age range, it fit perfectly with an audience full of twenty- and thirtysomethings and was possibly the most energetic part of his performance.
Since Koala played his kid's favorite song, he most certainly had to finish with his mom's. Mixing on top of the timeless classic "Moon River," Koala did more work in that four minutes than Girl Talk does during an entire tour.
Deltron 3030 isn't necessarily your typical hip-hop group, and Friday wasn't your typical hip-hop crowd -- mostly it was who you might expect to find at the next jam-band show. Dan the Automator has put his stamp on a host a classic albums from the likes of Dr. Octagon, Gorillaz, Galactic, Mike Patton and DJ Shadow; Del is an MC who could fill a similarly sized venue in his own right; and Kid Koala had already proved his worth earlier in the evening.
The trio has been on the road supporting sophomore record Event 2, which hit shelves last fall just shy of 14 years after their eponymous debut. They've been working on this record for more than half a decade, and this year have made successful stops at several festivals including earlier this month at SXSW.
This show was something special, though. Deltron obviously had a great time together onstage, with a set touching equally on both albums. Del seemed to improvise his way through at least half the set, which wasn't a bad thing, although at points it made it hard to distinguish between which song was which until the choruses hit. Still, he brought his own spin to classics like "Positive Contact" and "Virus" and new tracks "Nobody Can" and "Melding of the Minds."
Review continues on the next page.