Anni Shao reviews Of The Trees at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco
Electronic producer Of The Trees performed his new set, Codex Natura, at the Regency Ballroom in SF. While it was a chilly Saturday evening, Of The Trees’ wonky and bass-filled tracks kept us dancing all night.
The first opener of the evening was Secret Recipe. I wasn’t able to catch his set because street parking in SF is tough but I heard great things and how the crowd was excited to see him open.
The next opener was The Librarian. Her appearance – a red turtleneck, glasses, and short curly hair – totally matched the librarian vibe, and I always love to see female representation in creative fields. One of my favorite electronic genres is drum and bass so I loved her set. She also played some crowd favorites. Skrillex’s surprise albums Quest For Fire / Don’t Get Too Close were released only a week ago, so excited cheers rippled through the crowd when she played Skrillex, Fred Again…, and Flowdan’s collaboration track “Rumble”.
At around 11 PM, Of The Trees came on stage. By this time, I had made it all the way to the rails (!!!) so I had a clear view of him hyping the crowd up while DJing. The 200 hours he said he spent programming the show really paid off because out of all the raves I’ve been to,Trees had the most breathtaking visuals for his set. Codex Natura tells a story of the hero’s journey in a mythical and vibrant world. The set started with an old timey book that opened and transported to a forest of vibrant green.
Codex Natura started off tame with tranquil imagery like a river, mushrooms, and a tiny red frog chilling on a rock to demonstrate the hero’s bubble of comfort and peace. Soon after, the visuals grew darker as we saw a skeleton, a fallen knight’s helmet, and a hooded figure adorning a crown of thorns. The light effects of the venue also added to the mystery and intensity of the visuals.
Music wise, the crowd around me described Of The Tree’s music as underground or experimental bass, futuristic, as well as a bit of drum and bass and dubstep. Of The Trees had very bass heavy songs that were easy to headbang to. He also had insane drops; his ability to work the mixer board kept the audience on our toes as we anticipated heavy, bass-filled drops. At one point, Trees even got up and kneeled on the board table, encouraging us to cheer even louder in excitement for his next drop.
The show ended with more ambient feeling tracks. As I looked around me, people were closing their eyes and swaying gently with the beat to feel the music, and at one point it even felt like a spiritual experience because people started to raise and clasp their hands together in prayer. Trees finally finished the show at a quarter past 12 to a content and supportive audience, satisfied with the music they got to listen to live that night.
Overall, I had a great time at Of The Tree’s first US tour, Codex Natura. I loved the opener The Librarian and Of The Trees did a phenomenal job at programming a beautiful audio / visual set for the audience to enjoy. It’s one thing to enjoy EDM music through headphones at home, but the experience of the visuals, lasers, the ground shaking bass booms, and crowd energy made Of The Tree’s set at The Regency Ballroom in SF one to never forget. Thanks to 90.5 FM KSJS for giving me tickets to see the show!
Written by Anni Shao
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