The deejay set that preceded Moby's performance at Nation on Friday night (well, Saturday morning really) offered the customary smooth segues and nonstop beats. The techno star has a perverse streak, though, so he played a show of discrete songs, stopping after each to address the audience with exaggerated politeness. These breaks in the electronic action must have frustrated some in the audience, which thinned noticeably during the New York musician's set.
Still, Moby frequently performed songs that convulsed the massive dance floor, from his early hit "Go" to "Feeling So Real" (introduced as "a happy disco song" but played first in a "country and western" version) and the robotic "Bodyrock," a track from his recent album, "Play." Moby was accompanied by a drummer, a bassist and a keyboardist-percussionist, and occasionally strapped on a guitar himself, but the show owed little to his hard-core punk album, "Animal Rights." Instead, the most rock-oriented moment was an agreeably sloppy encore of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way." The song received the evening's loudest response, but perhaps that was because the techno purists had already migrated to the club's other room.
The show opened with Boom Boom Satellites, a Tokyo duo supplemented by a drummer. This band also used bass and guitar, but its sound was dominated by samples and synthbeats. Unlike Moby, the Satellites played a continuous, relentless set, characterized by rib-rattling bass and heavy treatment of both instruments and vocals. While guitarist Michiyuki Kawashima often sang, the only discernible words were the titular chant of the band's best-known track, "Dub Me Crazy."