Daft Punk @ Even Further, Wisconsin, USA May 26, 1996
“Let me tell you about the first time I saw Daft Punk, and while it wasn’t at my house, it was pretty damn close. My first introduction to Rave culture was in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dave Prince best describes what was happening in Milwaukee in his 1994 Request article “Milwaukee’s Rave New World”. Ask your friends about Milwaukee and instinctively they’ll offer one word: beer. And while you can often smell the hops from one of the city’s many breweries while wandering the small but clean downtown, a true underground spirit exists just below the surface of this industrial working-class town. Unbeknownst even to most people who live within the county limits, Milwaukee is home to America’s hardest and perhaps strongest rave scene. Incorporating elements from the city’s residual punk-rock scene with heavy-metal sensibilities and a comfort with house music it has absorbed from neighboring Chicago, Milwaukee’s rave community has withstood the mainstream media indifference, police harassment, and quickly changing musical tastes that have stalled the movement throughout the rest of North America. The Milwaukee scene is an amalgam of hippie sensibilities (“peace, love, unity and respect”), punk spirit (“do it yourself”), and heavy-metal attitude (“f—king hardcore”)”. Full article
The event was called “Even Further”, produced by Drop Bass Network and Crew, and it took place Memorial Day Weekend, Friday May 24 – 27, in Eagle Cave, Wisconsin. Daft played in the wee morning hours on Sat May 26.
New York Times writer, Neil Strauss reported – “It rained every day; nonetheless, ravers danced in muddy tents to their favorite DJs (Frankie Bones, ESP Woody McBride, Scott Hardkiss, Apollo, Mixmaster Morris), marveled at how well electronics whizzes like Daft Punk and Laura Grabb could perform the music on live instruments and discovered that rock bands like Low and Poi Dog Pondering could also fit into a rave.” Full article.
Personal note on this: I was honored to be part of the 1995 Even Further production crew when I was running Ripe Productions with my partner in crime, RP Smack. I would be lying if I said I wish I could lay claim to being part of the 1996 production. However, I had brought my daughter, Aria into the world not yet a month before. This Further, was, in fact the first time I had been back amongst my community of hardcore Wisconsin electronic music enthusiasts since that time, and made the 7 hour trek from my newly relocated home of Chicago. All of these combined factors made the weekend even all the more memorable for me.
“Generation Ecstasy” author Simon Reynolds was on hand to document the festival for Melody Maker, UK, (now known to us as NME) and stated “Saturday’s big hit, though is French unit DAFT PUNK and their sinuous, sine-wavey brand of industrial-tinged house”. Full article.
Thomas & Guy Performing @ Even Further
I found this bit on Wikipedia regarding the above footage . . .
In the mid-to-late nineties, Daft Punk performed live without costumes in many places including the United States. In particular, a rare bootlegged video featuring the duo in Wisconsin matches the verified identity of Thomas Bangalter. Less clearly seen, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo is to Bangalter’s right and is mostly cut off from the camera. Comparing the artwork packaging of Homework to the video footage, one can verify that the album’s liner note photo was taken during this event.