Photos by Eldon Christenson // Written by Molly Kish //
Kicking off their much-anticipated 2013 tour on Thursday, Moving Units dominated the upstairs loft at the DNA Lounge with an exclusive audience of die-hard locals.
Walking into a venue usually filled with 800-plus audiences, it took a minute to wrap your head around the scene. Entering through a lengthy staircase into a space originally used as the late-night lounge for the main-room festivities, the crowd’s level of intensity created an eager anticipation for the night’s main act. Filling the micro-venue with enough fog to smoke out a space twice the size, excitement filled the air. After all, this was the kick-off performance of Moving Units’ first tour and album in six years, leaving no room for mediocrity in a city known to galvanize the wider live music scene.
After a few sound check teases of familiar pulsating bass lines, drum rattles and tweaks of synthesizer knobs, Moving Units took the stage. The current lineup — consisting of Mike Delgado, Pat Heany and the ever-controversial frontman Blake Miller — started the evening off by playing tracks off their album Neurotic Exotic. Released less than 24 hours before the band’s physical set time that evening, the show served as both a triumphant return to the Bay Area music scene and a listening party for everyone in attendance. The band’s new tracks were embraced by a crowd riding high off of the surreal experience, which later evolved into a full-force dance party.
Between the gregarious couples making out mid-floor and ladies literally pawing at the band, falling over the front of the ground-level stage, the show morphed into an off-the-charts loft party with one of the most notoriously salacious house bands around. The band’s blinding light displays, seductive stage presence and instigating crowd banter kept the energy at an all-time high.
Hitting hard late in the set with hits from Dangerous Dreams and Hexes for Exes, Moving Units inspired the sweat-soaked crowd to dance themselves into a frenzy, belting every last lyric while bouncing off each other and Miller, who decided to join in the audience’s reverie.
Nearly running through their entire catalog of quintessential dance-punk hits, the show came to an abrupt end soon thereafter, leaving the crowd salivating for more. Uncertain as to why the cords got pulled so quickly, the band exited the stage to house music, yet they remained on the dance floor drinking and talking with fans well into the closing hours.