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Fatboy Slim @ 9:30 Club, DC
by cunningham26: 03-26-2005

Enough was not enough for the 9:30 Club Friday night. After Interpol sold out the 7PM show, they brought in Norman Cook (better known as Fatboy Slim) for the late show. Doors opened at 11:30, but by 11:00 the line for entry stretched down the block. Managing to sneak in with a handful of British blokes seeing Fatboy all the way from Newcastle, the club was nearly empty upon our entry. However, it would fill up like a rush hour train to Palookaville by the time Fatboy took to the booth at 12:30.

The idea of a DJ as a superstar, with the audience watching him play records, has always been a bit of an abnormality. However, with the DJ booth in the middle of the club, everyone's eyes were on Norman Cook as he truly put on a show while mixing. The 41-year old superstar DJ was booty shaking and party bumping while communicating to the audience via sharpie, record sleeves and a video camera, which projected his scrawled messages to the crowd on a massive screen behind him.

Despite frequent difficulties with the club's system, Norman Cook had the crowd at his whim for the entirety of his two-hour set. His first track, a remix of Nancy Sinatra's classic "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down)" started things off right as people started to find their groove. He continued to energize the audience with amazing music, however, none of his own tracks. The closest anyone got to hearing a Fatboy original was during the times where he would lay an acapella of his most popular hits (Right Here, Right Now, Slash Dot Dash, The Rockafeller Skank) over the track he was playing. The High point of the evening came during his final two tracks, where he mixed Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz" into Daft Punk's remix of Franz Ferdinand-Take Me Out.

Leaving halfway through the final song, Fatboy weaved through the churning crowd back to his tour bus. The crowd, waiting for an encore (thinking Fatboy would come out to play one more record), showed that the majority of the crowd were not average Housemartins. A large portion of the crowd were over thirty types. Becoming too old to go clubbing every week, they come out of the woodwork for events like this and rave like it's Burning Man '97 all over again. The audience Fatboy Slim brought into the 9:30 Club was eclectic to say the least, made up of ravers, hip hop heads, indie rockers, kids with their moms, and fans of Fatboy who have been following his ups and downs since his days in Brighton, England. Fatboy Slim, whose album sales have been slipping since his most recognizable album, "You've Come a Long Way, Baby," certainly showed that he is still capable of rocking a crowd. He has obtained and retained superstar DJ status, played in front of crowds of 30,000, and if he continues to play as he did Friday, will remain a pillar of the dance music industry for years to come.

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