SuperByte 2014: Day 2

◆ Date: September 13th, 2014

◆ Location: The Zoo, Manchester, England

◆ Music: Equinoxe, Steve, Jellica, Men of Mega, Kodek, Xyce, Dubmood, Bit Shifter, Trey Frey, DJ Frans Twisk (EINDBAAS DJ SET)

◆ Visuals: The C-Men, Chromatouch

◆ View complete photo set: http://bit.ly/XgFGwS

I smiled as I walked into The Zoo today, exhausted but also freshly caffeinated. Hearing the amplified drums during sound check got me in the mood for the second and last night of SuperByte.

Equinoxe stood behind two massive keyboards and started the night off the synth-heavy melodies. He jumped into the audience with his white Keytar and danced around the crowd with it.

Steve may have had a simple name but his music was anything but. His dance beats got the crowd moving as he did high kicks into the air. He eventually kicked off his shoes and played the rest of the set in just his socks. His energy level went higher and higher until he finally jumped off the stage and danced heavily in the crowd for his finale.

Cats have been a running theme with Jellica and tonight his shirt featured a total of 7 cats, the center of which had a ribbon bow tie. His music was even better than when I last photographed him during blip ’08. Jellica has a vey particular way of dancing that I was happy to see was still going strong. He flailed his arms in the air as if he was being sucked up towards the sky. The undulating tones of his music were soothing and entranced the crowd as they gathered around bobbing their heads to the beat.

Men of Mega played a sample of “A Gringo Like Me” and opened a can of John Smith Extra Smooth Beer before getting down to business and that business was to have fun. It’s always a party when Men of Mega performs and the audience rushed to the front of the stage to get their slice of it. He played a song from his new album and told the crowd, “If you like it, dance. If you don’t like it, buy me a beer.”

Kodek had his set up on a cardboard box in which he wrote the numbers “420.” This Latvian chip artist is world renown for his sense of style as well as his music. Wearing a hot pink windbreaker, matching hat, short shorts and a fanny pack, he glowed in the UV light. He completed the look with a full sized highlighter yellow game boy on a plastic bead necklace. He had some technical difficulties at the start of the set which was bad news since we were already an hour behind schedule and no one, especially me, wanted to be shorted any Kodek stage time. Luckily he was up and running in a few minutes and delivered a neon colored performance like none other.

Xyce stepped in for Jeroen Tel who couldn’t make it to Manchester at the last minute. This powerful duo from the Netherlands performed for a full house. The SuperByte crowd went wild for these guys at the open stage and their enthusiasm triple folded to see them play on the main bill.  Several people crowd surfed and everyone danced their heart out. Their last song got everyone’s heart rate up with a climax of over 200 beats per minute.

Dubmood had fellow chip musicians Maskinoperator and Zabutom join him along with Gem Tos on vocals and guitar. She wore a chinese pilot hat from the 1970s and the band performed in front of an oversized old East German Flag which was ripped down to reveal a North Korean flag.

James introduced the next act as “the amazing, the incredible fucking Bit Shifter” before diving off stage and crowd surfing to the back of the venue. As one of the founders of the chiptune festival series, Blip Festival, he was a much loved and anticipated performer. This was the last stop on his summer tour which started in New York City at LWLVL Festival and took him to Amsterdam and Copenhagen. The crowd hummed along to his tunes even though there aren’t any lyrics and banded together in a group hug his song “Information Chase.” He ended his set with with his cover of “Under the Milky Way.” The crowd was so enthusiastic they pushed the table back disconnecting the sound. It just wouldn’t be a chip show without a song dropping halfway through a song.

Trey Frey also traveled from the USA for his first European tour. This young chip musician has an infectious magic about him that no is safe from. A red tray that said “FREY” crowd surfed throughout his set. Although it was 1am, he played to an almost packed house. All eyes were on Trey. Even the green room was empty and the lady doing merch was rocking out as the crowd chanted “Trey Trey Trey Trey!” He closed his set by playing a brand new song that is coming out in a new release with Data Airlines and Dubmood and of course he crowd surfed to the end of the room and back.

DJ Frans Twisk closed the festival with an EINDBAAS DJ set. His beats echoed through the Zoo and it was hard to believe SuperByte was over. A part of me didn’t want it to end and that is a sign of a fantastic event.

Equinoxe

Equinoxe

Steve

Steve

Steve

Jellica

Jellica

Jellica

The C-Men

Men of Mega

Men of Mega

Men of Mega

Kodek

Kodek

Kodek

Xyce

Xyce

Xyce

Xyce

SuperByte

Dubmood

SuperByte2014_Day2_114

Gem Tos

SuperByte

James Bently

Bit Shifter

Bit Shifter

Bit Shifter

Trey Frey

Trey Frey

Trey Frey

Trey Frey

Frans Twisk

Frans Twisk

Frans Twisk

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