I hit up Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom a few weeks ago to check out the Pardon My French Tour featuring DJ Snake, Tchami, Mercer, and the Confession’s mysterious newcomer Malaa. The lineup of French artists covered a wide range of music genres from EDM to Trap and Future House, and was a truly delightful musical experience.

Malaa, the supposed masked prodigy of Tchami, opened with a massive set which had the two levels of Aragon Ballroom in Chicago already up and stomping at 9:30 PM . There has been a lot of speculation over the identity of Malaa, who signed on to Tchami’s Confession label in 2015, and has been rumored to be a persona of DJ Snake, Tchami, Mercer, or perhaps a collaborative side project of all three Parisians themselves. In any case, his performance set a nice tempo for the rest of the night.

As a European, however, it impresses me both in positive and negative ways how differently shows are organized in the United States. Unfortunately, DJ Snake’s headliner performance was overwhelmed by visuals and stage show effects, which seemed to put his musical set in the background of the scene. As we all know, Snake has his origins set in the roots of Hip Hop, and therefore, knows how to handle a set of proper turntables. I don’t see a reason to put a huge stack of (admittedly impressive) stage equipment between him and his fans.

The Pardon My French Tour will hit San Francisco this Friday before returning next year. Check out the trailer of the shows featuring last years’s artists.

Photo: Merc Photography

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