Before Sugalski and crew took the 2720 Cherokee stage, the show was opened by an extended DJ set local act Quasar Camp. Playing a largely down-tempo style, the set was well matched to the Polish Ambassador's recent, full-length album "Ecozoic," pulling from a number of other styles in a similar fashion to the headliner. He was quite well received by many of the earlier arrivals and the set gave the hoopers and poi spinners an opportunity to connect to the music while there was still room on the dance floor.
That space very quickly disappeared as soon as Wildlight took the stage. This new act blends Sugalski's production with folk songwriter Ayla Nereo's vocals, creating a soft electronic sound to accompany the rich lyrics delivered by her sweetly powerful voice. Their set featured music from "Hers Was as Thunder," their debut EP, as well as some of Nereo's own material remixed with the electronic accompaniment. A couple of times during the set, the vocalist used a looping station to set-up an a cappella backing to her music, including the finale which gave the Polish Ambassador opportunity to sneak off stage and change jumpsuits.
After completing her set, Nereo introduced the headliner. The Ambassador made a comical entrance, joined by Liminus, both rising slowly from behind the covered DJ table, where they had snuck onto the stage and hidden unnoticed. They stood in front of a set up of concentric arch shaped screens, forming a shallow shell behind them. As Sugalski mixed each track, Liminus stood by his side, matching every change with his self-created series of visuals, projected across the performers and the shell behind them to add an optical experience that rivaled the music in its creativity and diversity.
Featuring verses and samples from hip hop acts like Snoop Dogg and Jurassic 5 as well as Blackstreet and a fair helping of Michael Jackson, the Polish Ambassador delivered a non-stop barrage of energizing grooves to a crowd decked out in various one-piece outfits, ranging from legitimate jump suits to pajamas, costumes and just plain, skin-tight body suits. Sugalski danced the whole night without any shame or worry of being uncool, inspiring the crowd to "get down and get goofy together," as he remarked before the first of two monstrous encores that left the dance floor packed until the very end.
All photos by Wil Wander.