Last week, I went out on a Tuesday for the first time since freshman year to catch electronic duo Snakehips at Exit/In. The late-night set on November 7th was my second Snakehips show, the first an impulse buy to justify missing their set at Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival 2016. Oliver Lee and James Carter started making music together in 2012, their stage name a reference to Carter’s shimmying dance when he puts on a tight pair of jeans.
I arrived at the end of Promnite’s opening set and had no problem getting to the front of the surprisingly thin crowd. Without counterpart Oliver Lee, James Carter took the stage as half of Snakehips at around 11:00 pm. Carter dressed casually in a dark T-shirt and stayed behind his sound desk for the duration of the set. Dim lighting on the DJ himself kept the focus on the music, each song accompanied by a uniquely synesthetic light show.
Carter incorporated Snakehips’ most popular tracks in a high-energy set alongside electronic remixes of primarily hip-hop bangers, from iconic throwbacks like Snoop and Pharrell’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot” to more recent breakout tracks like Rich Chigga’s “Dat $tick.” Peripatetic lights and soul-shaking bass enveloped the crowd in the music, including a brief strobe light stint during a remix of DMX’s “Party Up (Up In Here),” hyping up the crowd for Snakehips’ own iconic tracks. Carter made appropriate nods to Snakehips’ past with some of their first hit tracks, including the duo’s remix of The Weeknd’s “Wanderlust” and their debut single “Days With You.” More recent hits appeared later in the set list, including “Cruel” ft. ZAYN, “Dímelo” ft. Tory Lanez, and their most recent single, “Either Way” ft. Anne-Marie and Joey Bada$$.
Toward the end of the set, Carter slowed things down with, as he put it, “some emotional shit.” The more chilled out ending to the otherwise high-energy set began with “Don’t Leave” ft. MØ and ended with, of course, “All My Friends” ft. Tinashe and Chance The Rapper. After only a handful of “encore!”s, Carter returned onstage with a couple of buddies and a fresh beer, ready to “turn this into a house party.” Girls were invited onstage and the post-set party commenced with Kanye’s “Touch the Sky.”
While I missed the onstage rapport and combined energy of the complete Snakehips duo, Carter carried the set effortlessly and really left no room for complaint. After listening to almost only rap for the past couple of months, Tuesday’s concert reminded me of a genre I’d been neglecting and reignited my love for electronic music.