They looked like Metallica roadies and sounded like a discotheque under siege.
Coated in denim and leather, hair as overgrown as an unkempt lawn, they brought with them an arsenal of souped-up, tricked-out, Red Bull beats that rumbled like a parking lot full of mufflerless hot rods.
Sunday night at the House of Blues, Justice was served, and it came in the form of two French dudes armed with the kind of full-contact disco that leaves crowds breathless and bruised.
More arms were in the air than at a bank robbery, and the room was muggy and humid, like the sticky audience was rocking out in a greenhouse.
Much has been made of this electronic music duo’s past in hard rock cover bands, and true to form, their show borrowed liberally from the bigger-is-always-better heavy metal ethos.
Onstage, Justice was flanked by Judas Priest-worthy walls of Marshall stacks, and they performed atop a platform of blinking electronics that looked like the motherboard to the Starship Enterprise.
The two intermingled caustic thrash riffs with malleable techno, sampling hard-edged acts like Ministry and putting the emphasis on the power and fury that metal has long favored.
In the liner notes to their heralded 2007 debut “Cross,” the duo cites everyone from Slipknot to Beyoncé, AC/DC to Donna Summer for inspiration, and you hear all that — and then some — during their live sets.
Driven by a flurry of cut-and-paste rhythms, wailing sirens, synth lines that sounded like laser fire and bass lines that approximated the gnarly rumble of herds of stampeding livestock, the pair demonstrated just how forceful dance music can be.
From the show opening grind of “Genesis” to the kick-drum-of-doom that drove “Let There Be Light,” Justice hammered the crowd with twitchy, tumultuous tunes denser than quartz.
They pumped their fists, shook their damp manes and headbanged like they were trying to shake any notion of subtlety free from their craniums.
And they weren’t alone.
This was a night given to the merging of hard rock and even harder electronica.
The show, part of the MySpace Music Tour, was opened by French glam rock troupe Fancy, whose afroed singer, Jesse Chatton, belts out lusty come-ons in a high-pitched wail that sounds like Paul Stanley after getting hit in the groin with a brick.
Squeezed into a pair of X-rated, black and white spandex pants, Chatton strutted and gyrated so hard that some of the feathers on his stark white boa flew in the air like someone had shot a duck.
The band’s lean, oversexed funk is a sweaty amalgamation of T. Rex, the New York Dolls and Queen, with Chatton running in place, doing jumping jacks and singing from his knees, belting out a cover of The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” with so much enthusiasm, its title seemed like an understatement.
Speaking of over-heated mash-ups, Mississippi-born DJ Diplo, who followed Fancy, merged bawdy hip-hop and rock staples with beats that hit like a linebacker.
He outfitted Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with a booming techno backdrop and crashed AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” into Dead Prez’s “Hip-Hop.”
In a night of musical cats and dogs, this was the Rottweiler devouring the Siamese.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at email@example.com or (702) 383-0476.REVIEW
What: MySpace Music Tour, with Justice, Diplo and Fancy
Where: House of Blues at Mandalay Bay
Attendance: 800 (est.)