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Fatboy Slim
feat. Darren Emerson and special guest Scanty Sandwich
Aragon Ballroom
Chicago, IL

House Sweet House
by: tom reiter

Pounding beats. Ringing ears. Soaked with sweat. A big smile on your face.

These are the inevitable when Fatboy Slim performs.

Already a renowned musician, Norman Cook's roots are as a DJ. It's what he loves, and frankly, what he does best. His music has become popularlized by mainstream movies and commercials, but no one really knows Fatboy Slim the DJ, unless they are into dance music. This was evident by looking at the crowd awaiting his performance. During the opening acts, a high percentage of the people didn't dance, and many of them seemed as though they thought he was there to perform his music, not DJ. One person was heard saying "I hope he plays that 'Praise You' song," as they idley sat and watched.

As people made their way into the impressive Aragon Ballroom, Scanty Sandwich was setup in the middle of the floor, welcoming people with warm house beats. There's no better way to get a crowd going by turning the energy knob up all the way, right away. Scanty put on an impressive show, DJ'ing from around 8:00 to 9:30. Mixing everything from Madonna's 'Music' interlaced with Daft Punk's 'Da Funk', to Fatboy's 'Star 69', Scanty Sandwich put the crowd in the right mood for the evening.

Without missing a beat, Darren Emerson stepped up to the tables. From Scanty's mix, Emerson eased into more of a late night house mix. While Emerson demonstrated he is a good DJ, his style was not very exciting. His set was more like a rollercoaster, only with less high exciting points and more coasting. The crowd wasn't into Emerson, some started to protest and chant for Fatboy. Most people took their breather during Emerson's set as well, realizing the only downsides to the concert were the prices of refreshment...$3 for a small glass of water and $5 for a beer. But he went out with a bang, revving the crowd up for Fatboy by mixing classics like New Order's 'Blue Monday'.

Finally, on came Fatboy Slim at 11:30, and the vibe instantly went up. After adjusting to the equipment, Fatboy got into his set and got the crowd going Fatboy style. He featured tracks like Basement Jaxx's newest 'Where's Your Head At' and a remix of 'Star 69', in addition to a handful of new music on the Astralwerks label. Always a happy-go-lucky entertainer, Norman would write song titles and messages to the crowd on vinyl sleeves to hold in front of the camera that projected him on a big screen. The one that truly characterized Fatboy Slim was "I love this job."

He showed just how much in his performance.

If you like Fatboy Slim...