On the first of two evenings in Los Angeles, shallou performed to a sold out crowd at the El Rey last week. The second to last show of his Souls world tour was set to begin at 10:10. Perhaps due to the rain, the venue was noticeably empty until right before shallou took the stage at 10:30.
shallou announced on social media Monday morning a new single, “count on” feat. colin, would be released Thursday. Worked into the set early in the evening, the positive reception from the crowd made it obvious people were eagerly awaiting its debut. Not long after, shallou welcomed Cody Lovaas to the stage to perform “Find”, a track off Souls that is a collaboration with Kasbo, who happened to be playing his own show in LA simultaneously.
One of a slew of successful bedroom electronic artists, shallou creator Joe Boston stands out among the masses by distilling ambience and emotion into downtempo house. With lyrics (and merch) touching on relationships and mindfulness, 100% of the proceeds of his debut EP All Becomes Okay going to the Environmental Defense Fund, and 100% of last night’s merch profits going to wildfire relief, Boston ranks among the most compassionate of producers as well. He took a moment between songs to remind the crowd that despite all the awful things happening around the world that we can impart positive change if we come together.
This somber tone and heavy subject matter didn’t impact the vibe of the night. The crowd was alive and moving from the get-go. Upbeat, danceable versions of songs old and new kept things fresh yet familiar. Surprise covers (such as “Shelter” by Porter Robinson and Madeon) and mashups (like the combination of “Midnight City” by M83 and “Late Night” by Odesza with his single “You and Me”) kept everyone on their toes.
Photography & Words: Kirby Gladstein