An evening with Spazzkid
Tony Rago get's up close to film Mark Redito's 1st LA gig

An evening with Spazzkid

It was Thursday, May 16, 2013.  I arrived at the new LA Fort with one goal in mind: film Spazzkid (Mark Redito).  Making my way into this super cool warehouse setting, I knew that this place would serve as the perfect setting for an epic night of music.  Within seconds, I immediately ran into someone I knew, my friend Joe Calixto of the band Wolves (pictured second from the left), who took all the photos used in this post.  You'll probably notice him snapping away during my provided concert footage.

I finally met Mark for the first time, as he was laying out his Limited Edition "Desire" t-shirts on the table (printed by The Awls Company).  Mark and I were already friends in the online setting, as I had recently written an article on his latest release.  Meeting in person felt like we were old friends.  Mark is such a humble and nice guy, so it was reaffirming to know that my support was devoted to such a solid human being.

I hung out for a while, sipping Jameson out of a flask in my back pocket, as the event was B.Y.O.B.  This certainly made for a happy Tony leading into Spazzkid's set, which as I recall didn't start until some time after 11.  As Spazzkid began to set up, I made my way to the front of the stage, checked my mic levels, and got into position for the long hall, nearly 55 minutes of straight filming.

As soon as the music kicked off, the entire room was immediately caught up in a chill wave of sonic and visual energy.  Being a solo artist, Mark knows how to please an audience not only with his energetic stage presence, but also by providing a complete visual experience.  High up above a projector provided slick visuals, creating this aural warmth that enveloped the audience in Spazzkid's world.  I asked him how this complex setup was achieved:

"Me and Johnny (Starminds) had been talking weeks before and were scheming about how the overall look would be. I sent him some of the music videos I cut and he remixed them and added cuts of his own. We had 3 projectors running: 1 was a looping video, another was light elements that moved along with the music, and another one was showing random objects. It all turned out great and I'm very happy how it looked!"

Spazzkid made it all seem pro, but in actuality he hadn't performed in quite some time, and in many ways this was one of his biggest performances.  This was his first time performing here in LA.  When I asked him what the experience was like he said:

"Man, was I nervous. Its been a while since I played solo. But the crowd was really awesome that night. Everybody was encouraging and were having a great time. I am really grateful to be shown that kind of love. It's honestly one of the best nights of my career as a musician.

Overall, I think the biggest challenge for us was setting up the visual equipment. Starminds, my homies who did the visuals, didn't have an idea prior to what the set up of the venue would be. So we just kind of figured out the placement on the day of. Thankfully, it turned out great. Big shouts to them!"

All in all the night was a huge success, and it was a great privilege to be a part of it.  If you have the opportunity to see him perform live, you should do it!  It was one of the most fun performances I've ever attended.  However, if you can't attend a Spazzkid show, then my below video will serve as an example of one of the greatest chillwave performances in LA history.  ENJOY!

Set List:

  • 40 winks
  • if not you then who?
  • candy flavored lips
  • forgiveness
  • marquez
  • & it was you
  • kokeshi doll
  • getting to know you
  • loving free
  • stay the night (encore)
  • missed call (encore)
  • magical oahu (encore)

 

WATCH THE ENTIRE 05.15.2013 PERFORMANCE:

Special Thanks to Spazzkid for the music and Joe Calixto a.k.a. "Shutter Happy Jose" for the Photos

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