As the year comes to a close, there’s one thing that all people can agree on: 2018 has been fucking weird. Not weird in the sense of “funny ha ha,” but more along the lines of we’ve all been transported en masse to an alternate version of Earth where anything is possible and strange things happen due to what can only be assumed to be a cosmic sense of humor so complex that we’ve yet to wrap our heads around it. And while the negative weird of this brave new world grabs most of the headlines, the positive side effects of the chaos we now call home were on full display Friday night at Marc Rebillet’s (aka Loop Daddy’s) debut LA show at Los Globos, presented by L’Affaire Musicale & Orlove Entertainment.
Although I had only learned of his music a few weeks beforehand, it made an immediate impression. His music, while using familiar tools and techniques, utilizes these tools in such a way that each song feels incredibly fresh in a way that few performers can manage these days. While dissenters may deride him as a (more) hipster Reggie Watts, after seeing his act live, those who can make their way past this obvious comparison will discover a few interesting nuances that both distinguish his act and evolve it past what’s usually put forward. One difference that was apparent before the show even began was his inherent humbleness despite being catapulted into the spotlight over the past six months, with him coming out to talk to everyone and waiting in line for the bathroom as if he were oblivious to the fact that he was the headliner. Once the show began, things further diverged from the ordinary when he actively asked the crowd to contribute suggestions to what topics they wanted to hear music about; granted, it’s obvious from his various live stream videos that this approach is old hat to him, but seeing it happen before your eyes is nonetheless still surprising, especially with the number of catchy and more well known songs he’s amassed under his belt via his YouTube channel. This Whose Line is it Anyway by way of Ibiza attitude forced everyone there to abandon any idea of where the show could go and laid the groundwork for jams centered on everything from Stouffer’s lasagna to Super Smash Brothers (a particular highlight of the night which, if you’re reading this Marc, should be added to all streaming services immediately).
In between the audience-inspired bangers though, it is worth noting that while still fun, the show did slide into thematic patterns when he went into extended improvisational riffs that usually centered around the holy trinity of musical themes: fucking, reasons for fucking, and innuendo to the effect of both. Although there’s nothing wrong with this, it got a bit redundant at times. To his credit though, Rebillet could feel out with impressive accuracy when a bit clearly wasn’t working and would course correct accordingly, unflinchingly trashing a few beats after what many people would consider the point of no return for any performer.
After a few of these breaks occurred, I made a connection which I think plays in large part to why Rebillet has exploded in popularity over the past several months: with both his music and his persona, he holds up a mirror to his audience, both in a venue and across the internet, and shows us both our values and our vices in a way that we can digest easily. His meme-like beats endlessly recycle, fuse, and explode genres just as easily as the internet does the same with ideas, beliefs, and languages. His performance style exhibits a millennial fearlessness that is all at once bold, impulsive, and yet incredibly fragile when viewed up close. Likely of most importance though is his dependence on the community of his audience to what he does. Most performers are essentially artisans in the classical sense, fashioning a piece and wheeling it out in the hope that it can be bought and that demand for more will be both strong and protracted; although with Rebillet, the audience is not merely a market for his music, but an instrument in the music itself. Much in the same way that he loops samples of everything from heavy bass to light saber battles, Rebillet’s looping of conventions and tropes makes these same biases and clichés evident to his audience in a way which is neither polemical nor boring, making for a truly 21st century experience.
So while 2018 may be coming to close and the world as we know it may be bowing out with it, I’m thankful for the fact that while the future is a bigger crap shoot than ever, Marc Rebillet and the joy he brings in tow with his performances will continue to be a part of it.
Words by: Robert Cohen
Photos by: Dillon Vaughn