A lot has changed in the electronic music world since French duo Justice broke on the scene with “D.A.N.C.E.” and Cross. Dubstep has become the current rage, house elements have invaded pop music and electronic music as a whole has enjoyed a renaissance with more EDM festivals popping up every month. Justice hasn’t ever really ascribed to any of those trends though. While Cross was rooted in rock/house elements, Audio.Video.Disco took those overtones and pushed into arena rock territory.
The stage at Tabernacle Thursday night suited Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay quite aptly. Stacks upon stacks of Marshall speakers that doubled as led lights, an oversized mock soundboard that fronted an electronic organ, all centered by trademark glowing cross. The set up certainly felt like a metaphor for how big Justice’s persona has become after just two albums. The duo opened their pre-Ultra Music Fest stop with a mocking synth edition of “The Star Spangled Banner” before amping the crowd with the heavy orchestral intro of “Genesis.” Justice made sure the keep fans moving throughout the night with a peppering of mixes from both albums with expert transitions and even teasing samples of “Civilization” and the Simian collaboration “We Are Your Friends.”
When their sophomore album was released in October, the duo did receive some backlash for abandoning the darker edge of Cross for anthemic, progressive rock experimentation. However, the crowd’s response to the act’s most recent material was to dance just as hard. “Horsepower” excelled with additional furious synthesizer and the disco guitar had fans nodding in unison on “Helix.” “Canon” allowed Gaspard to open the stage set up to utilize the shiny electric organ and served as the perfect set up for Justice’s biggest hit to date, “D.A.N.C.E.” The bass heavy rendition even featured a nod to Jay-Z’s sample from hip-hop banger “On To The Next One.” It made most fans realize, Justice should truly be more active in the art of remixing.
The oddest sequence of the night also happened to be something most would agree could only happen in Atlanta. The duo slowed the tempo before silencing the music and slowly raising one arm to the sea of revelers. What they didn’t realize is that particular arm motion means “The Chop” in the South and Tabernacle erupted in the “ohh” sound heard at every Braves game. The response didn’t seem to phase Justice though as they soon plowed through the title track of their latest album before a boisterous encore. A booming rendition of “On & On” followed before closing with crowd favorite “Phantom Part II.” A lot may have shifted in electronic music in the five years since Gaspard & Xavier burst on the scene, but the duo clearly doesn’t care for passable trends and plan on making people dance worldwide for the foreseeable future.