In a lively show that paired big names like Blink 182 and Lil’ Wayne into smooth dance anthems, mash-up group Super Mash Bros. performed for a packed Cornell University Arts Quad on Saturday, sending the summer out with a bang.
While the assembling audience grew in size, the opening band, Shy Child, crashed through their set with keys, a saxophone and drums in a disjointed cacophony of noise. On recordings, their music appears neat and polished, but the live sound was hardly coherent and their exit could not have come soon enough.
Only a few minutes passed between Shy Child’s sets, a time span that felt like an eternity. Finally, as the crowds roared, the duo known as Super Mash Bros. took to the stage.
Dick Fink and Nicolas Fenmore, the men behind Super Mash Bros., began their music careers as DJs for house parties in Los Angeles. Despite the distance from home and the size of the crowd at Cornell, the duo was well within its comfort zone while performing on a much larger scale.
Mash-up music is produced on computers and sound boards to blend samples of songs. In concept, creating mash-ups can seem easy enough and accessible for anyone with a laptop and the proper software. But when these tools are in the capable hands of Fink and Fenmore, the results are unpredictable — always fresh and ingenious.
Songs like “Broseidon, Lord Of The Brocean,” features Coldplay, J-Kwon, Death Cab For Cutie, Imogen Heap and Daft Punk all within the lightning-quick span of two minutes. With this song, Super Mash Bros. captured their creativity perfectly, combining the more intricate parts of each individual song into a streamlined and flawless whole.
The duo blurred lines previously separating genres. Mixing varieties of music is indeed a risk, but the two performers showed little regard for the dogmas determining what is or is not compatible. The potent combination of their mashes, such as Modest Mouse’s “Float On” mixed with “Ms. New Booty” by Bubba Sprxx, would delight any fan of both genres. This mix creates a blend of music that all can appreciate.
Part of what made that experience so enjoyable was the fact that Super Mash Bros. didn’t mash their samples to the point that the songs lost their original charm. Each song the group incorporated into their mashes were never garbled, and the original melodies remained recognizable. While tastefully blurring the genre lines, the DJs performed to the exact tastes of the audience.
During the set, the crowd and performers formed a relationship that sustained itself by feeding off each other’s energy. “How many ’90s babies do we have in the house tonight?” they asked. The crowd exploded with cheers as a mashed-up theme from “Space Jam” punched through the night air. The group’s ability to cater precisely to the tastes of its audience made the show that much more personal and inclusive.
Super Mash Bros. succeeded in whipping the crowd into a frenzy. However, such a concert unfortunately lacks a serious amount of showmanship. The lap tops and sound boards can’t be operated with much gusto, and the music produced is almost identical to the songs on the recordings.
The effect of the group’s performance on the students was obvious as the show ended, and listeners left with a visible post-concert glow. Super Mash Bros.’ knack for creating unpredictable and colorful hits molded an environment that brought fans of every genre together for one smashin’ party.