They came, they saw, they conquered.
Emancipator played the sold-out Fox Theatre Thursday night, revelling in one of their strongest fan basis nationwide here in Colorado. The duo enjoyed its Boulder welcome, returning to a show filled with friends from their past in the area.
Emancipator, featuring producer and mastermind Doug Appling, is a revered name in the progressive-electronic scene, pumping out records since 2006, when he self-released “Soon It Will Be Cold Enough.” In 2010, Appling added Boulder-based violinist, Ilya Goldberg, to the live aspect of the Emancipator project, bringing acoustic instruments to the performance.
“Almost to the date three years ago, we met at the Fox,” Goldberg said. “He came to play a show at the Fox and I came to see the show because my friends were like, ‘You got to check him out.’ Then Dominic from Big Gigantic was at the show, and was like, ‘Yo, you guys should totally collab.’ So next time Doug was in town he hit me up and we played a show, and it was so good.”
Goldberg, a graduate student studying violin at CU, reaped the benefits of his music since joining Emancipator back in 2010.
“I came to Boulder initially to do the Master’s program for my violin,” Goldberg said. “I ended up doing my Master’s in three years, and then sticking around for a couple years after words, just working in the field.”
The Fox Theatre holds a meaningful history for the duo, giving a certain reverence to their conception. Thursday’s show gave the perfect opportunity to test out a new background rig featuring a wall of tree mimicking triangles and projections. The chemistry among Emancipator quickly engaged the crowd. Delving deep into their electro-instrumental combo, the Boulder favorites showcased why they are quickly becoming one of the biggest names in the business.
“It’s a really good chemistry vibing off each other,” Goldberg said. “We’re in sort of complete parallels of what we do on stage. It feels like a true gift to be able to walk on stage, time after time, and getting to share my music with people, and to feel the reciprocation of energy and reflection of the music that I put out there.”
Layering fresh mixes into fabled hits like “Greenland”and “Nevergreen,” Emancipator seized control of the venue. Pumping out blissful waves of sound, the two slipped into their revolving worlds. Appling showcased his connection to the crowd, synchronizing his talent for production and performance while Goldberg transcended into space with his epic violin odes.
The show capped with a four piece encore that slid in snips of The Fugee’s “Ready or Not” to Emancipator’s own pulsing drive. Appling and Goldberg took time after the show to catch up with fans and greet their buddies in attendance.
“Every time I come back to Colorado it’s still kind of home,” Goldberg said. “Seeing so many good homies, close friends, memories around every corner.”
The duo effectively sent good vibes to the audience with their dynamic display of visually throbbing effects and musical passion full of heart and soul. Excitement consumes Emancipator’s reputation, clearly building from their ability to collaborate with the crowd during their performances.
“Really, without you as an artist, I mean, who am I going to play for?” Goldberg said. “I can obviously play for myself but, it’s for sharing. It’s definitely very special to have people come out and show up to a sold out show.”
So, what’s next in the life of Emancipator?
“We got some time off, we’re pretty busy. The rest of 2012 finishing the album, and then January we have a New Year’s show in Ashville, North Carolina, and another show in Columbus,” Goldberg said. “After that we have a month on tour in the East Coast through February.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kyle Ward at Kyle.firstname.lastname@example.org.