After a long hiatus, DJ AM and Travis Barker of Blink 182 are back on the music scene. The somewhat last-minute show last Friday at Mezzanine marks the pair's first San Francisco show since last year’s tragic plane crash. The two reunited on New Year's Eve to play a party in Miami and have since developed an unlikely partnership—a live DJing and drumming set that they plan to take on tour. Props to the fresh concept, but does the act pan out onstage?
Top heavy on the rock, Friday's set began with Led Zeppelin, Metallica and The Who, a departure from AM's usual. But the set quickly turned from drum-laden noise to artfully derived and organically transitioned beats—the AM we know and love emerged. From hip hop to the Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana to Nancy Sinatra, MIA to the Violent Femmes, the mix of drum beats and scratched records danced across sounds and genres that kept the audience guessing and wanting more. After what seemed like a short-lived set, the two left the stage and people actually started filtering out of the venue. About 20 minutes later, DJ AM reappeared for a solo set and that's when we knew the party was just getting started.
MGMT bled into Guns N' Roses and AC/DC, followed by a brilliant and timely undertaking. AM introduced parts of Obama's inauguration speech into Justice's "Phantom," garnering much deserved cheering from the crowds. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Tequila," the '50s hit by The Champs, a little "Red Red Wine" by UB40, Sublime and Lauryn Hill rounded out the encore set, with Eddie Murphy's "Sexual Chocolate" as a final signoff. A show to anticipate? Yes, and we'll wait with bated breath for Travis and AM's return.