Fans who packed Hollywood’s Roxy Theatre on Wednesday night to catch Travis Barker and DJ A-Trak’s second-ever performance no doubt left the place feeling like the dynamic duo had rehearsed their airtight set to within an inch of its life. But, in actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.
“We pretty much came up with everything in the past couple of days,” A-Trak told MTV News. “Like, we came in with nothing.”
This is nothing new for Barker and Trak, who decided to perform together after a lengthy jam session last fall. So it was somewhat fitting that their “rehearsals” for the Roxy gigs flowed in much the same way.
“[It was like] the earlier times when we had gotten together. It was jamming. It was just … seeing, like, what song he would throw at me and what I would do. Just seeing what the chemistry was like,” Barker explained. “And now it was like, you know, piecing it together. And we found that we used a bunch of my remixes and his remixes, [plus] some of his original songs, so it’s really cool.”
And while the duo were cuttingly precise Wednesday night, there was also a liberating looseness to their set. And that’s what really got the crowd — which included Kanye West and girlfriend Amber Rose, Tim Armstrong and Rob Anton from the Transplants, Samantha Ronson and onstage guests Kid Cudi and Lil Jon — moving. Because despite the fact they were watching just a drummer and a DJ, the Roxy gig seemed more like a genuine, honest-to-goodness show, be it rock, hip hop or something in between.
“I think the show is really, like, a concert performance. It’s a spectacle,” A-Trak said. “It’s, like, really condensed and in your face, and I think that every minute, every moment is like a slap in the face. That’s how I described it.”
“There’s something for all music fans. If you’re a fan of music, you’ll dig it,” Barker added. “And then if you’re a fan of A-Trak and all his music or you’re a fan of me and you wanna see us just mash, then I think you’ll be stoked to see it.”