Tchami Changes Up His Style at Terminal West
I was feeling excited just walking into Terminal West the night of the Tchami show, and based on the early crowds, so was the rest of Atlanta. I had seen Tchami once before at Electric Forest 2016, and he had put on one of my favorite performances of the weekend, so I was really looking forward to seeing him in a more intimate venue.
Mercer warmed the room up with a genuine club set of powerful house and techno that was impressive and energetic, but didn’t feel like a power grab for anyone’s attention. A good opening set is so rare in the EDM community, and Mercer played the role perfectly. He showed his full strengths as a DJ but didn’t steal the attention or drain the audience of energy that they would need for the headliner. As I settled into my first drink and a bite to eat from Stationside, I was very impressed at how well he got the room ready for the main act without exhausting them.
When Tchami came on, the stage was lit up with backdrops that looked like big church windows, in keeping with the theme of his brand. He said hello to the audience and quickly got to work, spending very little time on the mic and delivering a solid performance with little interruption. I appreciated his straight-forward approach to the set, and was glad he didn’t feel the need to hype up the crowd as so many EDM DJs do these days.
I didn’t enjoy his set at Terminal West as much as I had when I saw him at Forest, but perhaps that was simply because of how surprised I had been when I initially heard him. I had expected him to play all poppy future house, but he had strayed into some really interesting areas of techno and trap. At Terminal West, the set seemed a bit more consistent, really leaning on tech house vibes to strike a balance. It was still a lot of fun and I stayed engaged during his whole set, but it was a bit less full of surprises.
The music scene is constantly changing, and with the pressures of running a label, Tchami will almost certainly open up to new influences and styles. 2017 seems to be merging so many genres together into an almost mash-up style approach to electronic music, so Tchami may move away from the future house sound that made him famous, but he has so much talent as a producer and DJ that I’m excited to see wherever he goes next.