Andre Anjos, progenitor of the Remix Artist Collective, or RAC, gave San Francisco an opportunity to appreciate his nuance and skill Friday. Held at the artful hilltop Masonic Center, the Halloween eve concert, hosted by Live 105, featured performances by Canadian musician Coleman Hell, RAC and Passion Pit to end the night. RAC, known mostly for his warm electronic remixing work, flaunted his contagious talent and passion for music of all sorts with a seamless and humble performance that drew influence from every corner of the musical globe.
Anjos, along with other members of the collective, has spent eight years refining his tact in colorful reinterpretation and remixing. Despite this, RAC’s 2014 release, Strangers, was entirely original and yielded multiple hits that have formed the basis of the current tour.
“It’s actually one of my favorite cities to play. … We’ve been playing it for years,” Anjos mentioned when talking about performing in San Francisco. The intimate performance at the Masonic was RAC’s tour-opener as well as the only destination on the tour at which he was not headlining. Sandwiched between the lackluster performance by Coleman Hell and the headlining show by Passion Pit, RAC and his eclectic five-musician ensemble took command of the small stage donning eerie expressionless masks.
Hits such as “Hollywood” and “Cheap Sunglasses” were peppered into an eclectic set list, straddling the lines between pop, rock ‘n’ roll, indie, and electronica. “I guess band-wise, it’s a little more on the rock n’ roll side,” Anjos remarked in the same interview. While they looked like a rock band on stage, RAC and his ensemble style was much more of a pop-electronica fusion.
The group played around on stage — switching positions, roles and even instruments throughout the course of the relatively quick set. Airy, light and romantic female vocals were often immediately juxtaposed with more pining and discrete male singing. RAC himself displayed masterful guitar work, while other band members shuffled around to assume a new musical theme for each song.
Whether the crowd was familiar with RAC’s past work or not, there was no mistaking the performance’s impact on the dance hall vibe. Coleman Hell, opening for RAC, offered a chaotic performance that clearly missed the mark for the majority of the audience. The dwindling enthusiasm took a while to rekindle, and it was not until “Hollywood” that the crowd seemed to overflow with appreciation. Security in the photo pit in front of the stage had to intervene during the wailing chorus, ensuring that the excitement didn’t spill into the performer’s stage space.
Surprisingly, after the exhausting energy of RAC, the audience was still waiting for a headlining performance by Passion Pit. Yet, no one would blame you if you called it a night after RAC.