Anyone asking around for a spare ticket was out of luck: Nicolas Jaar had sold out the Gothic Theatre in Denver, CO. Some attendees were seeing him for the first time. Some were following his tour and had seen him multiple times that week. Many in the crowd were Spanish-speakers and had a personal connection to the Chilean-American DJ who often sings in Spanish, his native language.
The artist came onto a hazy, back-lit stage in an unassuming hoodie and ball-cap. Using an upright synth set-up reminiscent of a switchboard, he began a slow build of experimental layering. A mesh of high distorted instrumental samples reached a climax, flickered, and broke into intense deep house.
Nicolas Jaar is known for his improvisational style, sometimes playing unprepared music for hours. Constantly changing tempos and incorporating a menagerie of influences, Jaar’s music was incredibly interactive. Often playing at an unusual 80 b.p.m., his music was anything but slow. From rockabilly to African jazz to glitchy techno, the whole set was diverse and memorable.
Denver wasn’t ready to let Nicolas go after the set. He came back on for a first encore, continuing his rolling house and deep, driving beats.
The second encore was entirely experimental improvisation.
The third encore began with his iconic “Mi Mujer” on which he sings in Spanish and kept everyone shuffling to the last note.