Walking past the line that stretched out of Terminal 5 on March 17th, one could have easily gotten mixed up about what kind of event was taking place inside that night. Nearly everyone in line was wearing some sort of cross on their shirt, some had even taken to painting them on their faces, but this crowd was far to liquored up to be attending a church service. Almost the entire line had some form of green on them, perhaps there was to be a weird St. Patrickâ€™s Day celebration inside the venue? No, in fact what was taking place that night was a concert put on by Justice, the French electronic duo who put on legendary performances that are rivaled only by their countrymen Daft Punk.
As typical for Terminal 5, the show was oversold and space on the floor was a valuable commodity â€“ the balconies were notably spacious and comfortable and people jammed as close as possible downstairs to be close to the duo of Gaspard AugÃ© and Xavier de Rosnay. Shortly after their scheduled start time, their signature cross light up on their stage set up and the duet walked behind their light filled booth (at least I think they did right away â€“ their setup was so massive that it hid them from all the photographers in the photo pit) and began their own rendition of â€˜The Star Spangled Bannerâ€™ (featuring a vodka based drink that someone tossed towards the stage splashing the front row and me) before kicking off what can only be described as a 90 minute nonstop rave.
After retreating into the balcony to try to get some decent photos of Justice hard at work, it hit me just how massive and passionate this crowd was. Everyone from the very front to the very back was dancing along to the music. Itâ€™d be impossible to even attempt to list what was played as the duo as masters at working three of their songs together at the same time. Predictably, the song that got the biggest reaction from the crowd was hit single D.A.N.C.E. which featured Xavier de Rosnay walking to the front of the stage to play keyboards as Gaspard kept mixing from behind the booth.
To be honest, itâ€™s a struggle even attempting to transcribe this night. Justice are masters of their craft and know how to grab their audience by the throat and refuse to let go for the entire show. When the band walked off stage for their encore, not a single person moved from their spots until they returned to play a few more songs. When the band was then finished, the crowd stood still wanting even more, but alas the night was over. As clichÃ©d as it sounds, this was truly a show that just had to be seen.
All photos courtesy of Michel Dussack