On June 11, 2016, The Opiuo Band made its way to the stage at The Roxy Theater in Hollywood as part of their highly anticipated Omniversal USA tour. They blew away the North West in cities like Seattle and San Francisco before making their way down to EDMLA territory, where we got a chance to see the man, and his band, in rhythmic action.
The Omniversal USA tour began just days after the historic release of Opiuo’s third full length album, which gained momentum early on and already made it’s mark by the time the tour came to Los Angeles. His album Omniversal made its official release on June 3, during which time it made it’s rounds in the dance music sector while Opiuo and his crew left for the USA. This wouldn’t be their first time in the States; they’ve played events like Euphoria Festival in Texas and Coachella in California and have in fact played in many other countries outside the United States.
Dance music fans have greatly appreciated Opiuo’s diverse skill set and ability to make a wide range of music, but his ability to perform live is part of what really makes him stand out. His shows are dynamic, diverse, and constantly evolving, and we were delighted to get a chance to attend this one. He’s been well received by fans and listeners, and the success he’s attained doing his various shows is an exciting aspect.
Saturday night, we made our way to Hollywood, to the iconic Sunset Boulevard where The Roxy Theater entertains tons of guests each week with an assortment of show types. On this particular night, we were ready for an evening of funky tunes and electro soul, and we weren’t disappointed. The band was everything you could hope for, with a mix of live instruments, percussion, and electronic music, with incredibly talented musicians and vocalist. The energy was amazing right from the get go, and it was clear that the attendees were ready for the night. When the band performed “Sneakers”, one of Opiuo’s most recent tracks, the crowd went wild. Despite how crowded it was that night, everyone jumped up and let loose with the high energy glitch hop tracks.
The night wasn’t just glitch hop though; we heard such a variety of music style that each time a new track started, it recaptured your attention. Soulful tracks with powerful vocals uplifted everyone to a new level of energy and put a little more groove into everyone’s step. Funky jazz solos resonated through the speakers as sound and vibrations. As with his latest album, the set had a little bit of everything but retained a sense of continuity. There wasn’t a single track that didn’t get a huge response from the audience. With the way the band interacted with each other and the crowd, and the energetic focus from the fans, the night was more of an experience than just a show. This was far from just another night at the club.
After this night, I have a huge amount of respect for Opiuo and his craft. His music is in constant evolution without losing the heart and soul of his sound. It’s easy to tell that he really loves what he does, and also takes it seriously. Performing live requires a great deal of skill and discipline, and I feel this is particularly true for the types of performers we see now in a modern era of music, where conductors and sheet music aren’t the norm. These innovative sets incorporate traditional instruments with modern technology, adding elements to the performance that may have never been seen before. Artists like Opiuo are so important to music because the creative use of this technology helps to keep music moving forward. It also helps electronic music retain a level of legitimacy as being more than just a “press play” culture. And lastly, they help inspire a new generation of musicians and performers by showing us that you can evolve and experiment with your sound without losing yourself in the process.