Following the departure of one half of the duo, Vincent Rooijers needed to find a way to push on with the DROELOE project. He needed to find new processes as he felt a shift in himself as an artist. The 2020 separation eventually led to a creative explosion resulting in the album The Art of Change. Coinciding with this album, a North American tour was born with a stop arriving at the Ogden Theatre in Denver.
My last time seeing DROELOE was last summer at Global Dance Festival. I thought to myself that there was a subtle difference that time around. He mentioned having worked on new music during the evening, and he even gave an unexpected live vocal performance to the festival crowd. The artistic stylings came full circle for me during DROELOE’s performance at the Ogden.
As I’m a sucker for live sets, the evening was a perfect medley of the DROELOE discography with improvisation of drums, trumpet, and live vocals from the freshly released album. His soloing and drum fills over tracks make every stop on this tour one of a kind. The Art of Change is a beautifully fitting title connecting the new creations of DROELOE to the former sounds and inspirations for which the project was once known. The set made musical bounds from uptempo fan favorite “Sunburn” to the more melancholy track “Counting Ten.”
Vincent has said he used the album as a way of releasing ideas he would like to emphasize within himself, and having a place he can revisit those ideas more readily. The vulnerability it takes to release his own vocals is an incredible step forward, and those performances carried into the live set. Showcasing and encouraging changes beyond just the overall form of the music was a recurring theme throughout the evening, as many mini-meditative moments were shared between the crowd and the performer between songs.
DROELOE’s 90-minute curated live set made it an evening to showcase and celebrate personal growth while still connecting with your old self. We were reminded as much through tracks such as “Stars Tonight” and “Running Away,” which reignited the Denver crowd with sporadic trap drops. Bass ran through the Ogden as the brilliant visuals of a cube entrapped the epicenter of the performance. A brilliant pyramid of lasers surrounded the stages, drum pads, and loop machines, dancing along with the crowd just below. The energy from the audience never left the building as the balance of new and old music blended together for a truly encapsulating performance.