Tag Archives: New York City

Flying Lotus Has Fans Flying High at Union Transfer

Those lucky enough to get a ticket to the sold-out Flying Lotus show on Friday night can rest assured that they not only got their money’s worth, but witnessed one of the better shows to come through Philly in quit some time.

5-55

In the midst of his North American Tour, the Los Angeles based producer hit Philly after performing in Washington DC, and just before he performed in New York City.  Tickets to the show, which was the second sold out show of the night at Union Transfer, sold out over a week in advance.  With the doors scheduled to open at 1030pm, fans were lined up far down Spring Garden and even around the corner come 10pm.

5-10

After a late start letting concert goers inside, the venue was  filled to capacity by 1130pm.  Thundercat, who is opening most of the shows on Flying Lotus’s tour, was just starting his performance. Thundercat’s debut album, “The Golden Age of Apocalypse”, was produced by Flying Lotus, and he was accompanied on stage by a drummer and pianist.

5-11

Thundercat, rocking a hat backwards with three foot feathers sticking out of it, handled the stage with the look of a man in complete control.  His talents as a bassist and vocalist were on full display during his opening performance.  His music ranged widely from being very chill to very up beat.  We knew that even after the opening performance ended, we would see Thundercat again, so we were not too disappointed when the opening act “ended”, especially considering Flying Lotus was about to come on.

5-14

After a brief pause to set up the stage, Flying Lotus walked out on stage, went up to the crowd with mic in hand, and said, “y’all sold this motha fucka out….”, which brought loud cheers from the crowd – “and now, we’re gonna burn this motha fucka down to the ground” – this brought even more cheers, as Flying Lotus ran back behind the DJ booth and started his performance.

5-16

As he was positioned between two different projector screens, the crowd was only able to see a silhouette of Flying Lotus, except when he came out from the DJ booth for the songs in which he rapped.  FlyLo played an energetic set that featured a wide range of music styles, such as trap, hip-hop/rap, and experimental EDM.

5-23

 The trap influences were easy to detect, but the crowd did not seem to care what song he was playing, enjoying each and every one.  Some of our favorites of the night were the Beastie Boys hit, Intergalactic Planetary, as well as a remix of the Kanye West / Good Music song Mercy.

5-25

The crowd went especially nuts when FlyLo got on the mic and asked, “Ya’ll know my dude Earl Sweatshirt, right??” – yes, we do, and so did the crowd.  FlyLo then dropped Between Friends, came out from behind the booth, and with a cartoon projection of Earl Sweatshirt on the screen behind him, rapped the 2nd verse of the hit song.

5-31

Before we knew it, and apparently before FlyLo knew it too, 2AM rolled around. Flying Lotus got on the mic, looked off at the side of the stage, and said, “really, shit, I’m cut off?”.  Knowing he had just a few more minutes left, he faced the crowd, asked what every performer asks if they want a good response – “who’s fucked up here tonight?”, and then dropped his last song of the night to a roar of cheers.

5-54

For his final two songs of the evening, Flying Lotus brought out Thundercat and played “Bonus”, from Thundercat’s upcoming album, as well as a track the two have collaborated on, “MmmHmm”.

Be sure to “like” Independent Philly on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

[Photo credit: Steve Garfinkel]

You can view the entire set list and an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

Laidback Luke’s Super You&Me: Island of Superheroes

On Saturday, June 16th, The Governors Beach Club on Governors Island (just off the southern tip of Manhattan in NYC) was transformed into a wonderland of superheroes and electronic dance music.

The eight hour party (presented by Made Event), was a cross between Electric Zoo and Comic Con. Fans were encouraged to dress like their favorite superheroes as they danced the afternoon and evening away to the sounds of Laidback Luke and friends.

Laidback Lukes’s Super You&Me parties have become legendary events, taking place from Miami to Ibiza. Joining him on the decks at the Governors Beach Club were Oliver Twizt, Peace Treaty, Tommy Trash, and Datsik.

Fans began lining up for the free ferry ride to Governors Island well before the 4pm start time of the event. The ferry ride provided amazing views of Manhattan as well as the sunset later that evening.

Once they exited the ferry and set foot back on dry land, fans wasted no time getting the party started. It seemed like the more dressed up someone was, the more fun they were having. Evidently a ripped up batman shirt qualifies as a superhero costume these days. Villains beware!

From the main sound tent (which was decorated with giant inflatable superheroes) to the beach area behind the stage, everyone was getting down.

The sound system was super on-point. Huge speaker stacks, both up front and behind the crowd, really let the bass kick but remain clean with none of that ear piercing feeling.

All of the DJ’s brought their A-Game for this one. Laidback Luke was hyped and smiling like a little school girl all night. He he really fed off of the crowd’s energy and enthusiastically played up to them in return.

This will be just one of many events on Governors Island this summer. We can’t wait to see what else is in store. Laidback Luke will be returning to NYC on Labor Day weekend to play the Main Stage at Electric Zoo.

[Photo credits: Atothe Photography]

You can view a full photo gallery below:

Mord Fustang Kucking Fills it at Starlight Ballroom

On Saturday night, as Philadelphia basked in the glory of an NLDS game 1 win by the Phillies, electronic music fans were treated to the sounds of DJ’s Mord Fustang and Dillon Francis at the Starlight Ballroom. The event, which was presented by Art of Electronica, Mad Decent, and Plasmapool, also featured opening sets by Dubsef, Dirty South Joe, and Khadafi Dub.

The Starlight Ballroom is a little off the beaten path but the venue features an expansive dance-floor (surrounded by booth seating), a 21+ area for those who want to consume alcohol, and they even serve food until about 1am.

The opening DJ’s got started just after 9pm and did a good job of warming up the room as the crowd, and anticipation for the headliners, continued to grow.

Digital light poles and two stunning ladies with glowing hula-hoops added the perfect visuals on stage and were matched by the glow-sticks and light-gloves of many people dancing in the crowd.

Dillon Francis was everything we had heard he would be. His set was top-notch from start to finish. The crowd danced and danced. A few of them (in the front row) even bowed down to the DJ. He was that good.

As the rain drops fell outside, the killer beats dropped inside.

Mord Fustang stepped in seamlessly around 1230am and wasted no time picking up right where Dillon Francis left off. For the next 90 minutes Mord Fustang Kucking Filled it! His style of music could make anyone dance. Rather, it would make anyone dance. If you’ve got a booty, and you were there, that thing would have been shaking. Big time.

As all good things do, the night came to an end (at 2am), but we’re pretty sure it won’t be long before we see these two tearing up the decks again in Philly. It better not be.

Check out the full photo slide show and some videos of the night below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mad Decent Block Party Overtakes the Piazza

Sunday afternoon was another hazy, hot, and humid day in the City of Philadelphia. Enter the Mad Decent Block Party.

Originally scheduled for Saturday, the date and location of the event had to be moved when the city pulled many of the events permits over concerns for the size of the crowd on city streets. A day late and a venue change later, the event kicked off on Sunday afternoon at the Piazza in Northern Liberties.

Headlined by hometown favorite Diplo, as well as Das Racist, DJ Sega, PO PO, and several others, the free all day event was a large draw for music fans. The day kicked off at 1pm with an hour set by Luvstep (Dirty South Joe & Flufftronix).

Up next was Kito at 2pm. The crowd continued to grow, and grow. Free water guns were distributed and water filling stations constantly restocked to help beat the heat.

Mother Nature also got in on the action, dropping a heavy shower on the area. Whether it was the weather or a non-related technical difficulty, there were several problems with the sound system early in the day. It cut out completely at least three times while performers were on stage to the chagrin of both the artists on stage and the growing number of people packing into the Piazza.

Diplo

Several vendors were on hand to peddle their wares, there was a beer garden, and restaurants like PYT and King’s Oak were packed with those looking for a tasty meal, cold drink, or refuge in the air conditioning. It was a crowd surfers paradise and a dog lovers heaven.

As the day progressed the Piazza started to reach the limits of a comfortable crowd size. As more and more people somehow got on stage with the performers (aside from just the usual media and artist’s posse), the small entrance to the backstage area was mobbed by fans trying every excuse in the book to get themselves on stage. This made it difficult to move easily from the stage/backstage area to the crowd area (and back).

The water gun situation also started to get a little out of control and water would fly out of nowhere to hit you in the face (or worse yet, your camera gear). Once the free water guns ran out, some people began just filling empty 20 oz. bottles and throwing the water in the air.

While the sound was great on stage (and towards the front of the crowd) it was lacking in the middle and at the back of the Piazza. For a last second venue change, it was probably the best you could hope for. Preparation is key.

How about the music? It was on point. We loved the DJ set by PO PO who really worked the crowd into a frenzy. Paul Devro took over from there and kept the crowd bumping. By the time Das Racist took the stage around 6pm, there were people as far the eye could see. The Piazza was packed to the gills.

DJ Sega was up next but we just couldn’t get in to his set. It seemed to build and build slowly but never really go anywhere. From the look of the crowd however, I think we were in the minority.

Diplo was handed the decks at 7pm and at this point they stopped allowing anyone else to enter the Piazza. Those exiting the courtyard were also told they could not re-enter. Working the turntables, as well as the mic, Diplo got fans bumping to some bass heavy hip-hop. The place went nuts. At one point Diplo had to ask fans to stop attacking the large inflatable “Mad Decent” tube man.

When Diplo’s set ended after 8pm, fans disbursed from the venue, many of them heading to after-parties (like the one at The Barbary).

Overall the Mad Decent Block Party was a success. While it would have been a better event if held in it’s original planned location, they did a wonderful job of scrambling to find a new venue and make all the necessary changes. At times it was maddening, and it was most definitely decent. Well played.

To view a full photo slide show of the event, as well as video from Diplo’s set…

CLICK HERE

Darwin Deez and Johnny Brenda Get it On

It was another hazy, hot, and humid July day here in Philadelphia, but that didn’t stop fans of (New York based) “Darwin Deez” from packing into Johnny Brenda’s in Fishtown. Opening act “Caged Animals” got the night started shortly after 9pm, playing for about 30 minutes. Then came a 45 minute wait, and it was headliner time. The last time Darwin Deez was in town (at Kung Fu Necktie) the show sold out. This show was very close to doing the same.

Darwin Deez is almost impossible to classify. The four member outfit (consisting of Darwin Deez, Michelle on bass, Greg on drums, and Miles on guitar) dresses like they forgot they had gym class and had to scramble to find something to play hipster kickball in at the last minute.

Between songs (and occasionally during) they do poorly coordinated, quirky dances to custom mash-ups (our favorite on Tuesday was Enya & Rage Against The Machine) on stage.

We worried several times that Miles was actually having a seizure while playing guitar (he wasn’t).

Darwin Deez, who sports long curly hair, a headband, and a mustache, even raps (and produced an entire rap album called “Wonky Beats” which is Willy Wonka themed) and broke into a cover of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al”.

They are tragically uncool. So much so, that they are are a super-magnet for hipsters (as was evidenced when several fans asked the merchandise table if they were selling his tracks on vinyl). They have a cult following.

And then there’s the music…

Undeniably catchy, simple (yet brilliant), indie-pop-rock, that really ties the whole thing together. Whatever Darwin Deez is doing, or not doing, it’s working. Fans love him and his arsenal of resonant tunes like “Constellations”, “Radar Detector”, and “Bad Day”. Packed into the downstairs area and the balcony up above, they clapped, danced, and sang along to every number. When the band finally left the stage, the crowd drew them back for a encore with chants of “one more song”!

Darwin Deez is raw. There are no bells and whistles. What you see is what you get, even if you’re not always quite sure what it is that you’re seeing. The music is minimalistic but sticks in your head like glue. Being genuine is Darwin Deez’s golden ticket, and he’s cashing in.

Check out our video from last night’s show below:

Vanity Theft & People At Parties Rock The M-Room…Draw Attention From Local Geologists

Alicia Grodecki

Metamorphic rocks are formed by subjecting any rock type (including previously formed metamorphic rock) to different temperature and pressure conditions than those in which the original rock was formed. These temperatures and pressures are always higher than those at the Earth’s surface and must be sufficiently high so as to change the original minerals into other mineral types or else into other forms of the same minerals.

Vanity Theft

Wait, I thought this was a music article, not something out of a science journal. Patience my good friend, you’re on the right track.

Brittany Hill
Elyse Driskill

Alicia Grodecki (keyboard, lead singer), Brittany Hill (guitar, vocals), and Elyse Driskill (drums, birthday girl) have been playing music together since they started a cover band in high school back in 2005 (called “Vanity Pledge”). Their original bassist, Staci Farfsing, was replaced by Lindsey Keene a year later when she headed off to college. At the same time, the band changed their name to “Vanity Theft” and began writing original music. Four years later, in 2010, Keene was replaced by bass player Lalaine (last name: Vergara-Paras) and the band signed with Vigilante Music/Adamant Records and released “The Anatomy EP”. 2011 saw the release of “Get What You Came For (LP)” and ushered in more change as Lalaine was replaced on the on bass by Kelly Riot. After a name change, a ride on a virtual merry-go-round at bass, and a new label, the pressure of touring, and the heat of their current “venues that don’t believe in air-conditioning” tour (as Hill informed the crowd last night in the sweltering M-Room) one constant remains… these chicks ROCK.

Kelly Riot

Okay, okay, we’re not geologists (or more specifically petrologists) but we certainly know a thing or two about rock.

We first caught Ohio based Vanity Theft when they last played the M-Room back in February (you can check out that story here) and have been waiting anxiously for them to return. While “Get What You Came For” and remix EP “Forget What You Came For” still make regular appearances on our playlists, the energy that Vanity Theft brings on stage adds another layer of enjoyment to their music.

The show got a late start due to some technical difficulties but sometime after 10pm things got underway. The band took song requests from fans before starting their set, and even dropped a brand new song (which you can catch on video below). It was hot and steamy inside the venue but the real heat was on stage (both literally and figuratively). Kelly Riot slid into the bass-spot seamlessly and drummer Elyse Driskill, who was celebrating her birthday with some champagne (even though, according to Hill, she gets drunk from the neck of a beer bottle) kept the beats tight (even after letting it slip that she had “lots of sex” to Marcy Playground’s song “Sex and Candy”).

People at Parties

Once again Philadelphia failed to properly show up to support this show. Once again, it was those who didn’t come out, that missed out.

Lori Key Napolitano

Vanity Theft stuck around after their set and talked with fans, enjoyed some drinks, and danced to songs from “People at Parties” (based out of NY & San Fran) who they are currently involved in a nine day tour with (heading to Cincinnati tonight). We loved the sound of People at Parties as well (although they had to forgo a few of their more upbeat tunes due to equipment malfunctions). The echoing vocal effects of singer Lori Key Napolitano, the killer keys of Becky Kupersmith, and the unusual drumming of Kelly “Lay Lay” Harris (who drums while standing) come together beautifully to entrance fans with deep, mysterious, melodic tunes that keep you toe-tapping from start to finish. We definitely suggest checking them out. Speaking with them after their set, they indicated that they’ll be returning to town in August. We’ve circled the entire month on our calendar just in case.

Becky Kupersmith
Kelly "Lay Lay" Harris

Check out some videos of Vanity Theft’s performance last night as well as our photo slideshow from the show below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

BOBBY Gets Heads Bobbing at The Church

On Thursday night, with support from opening bands “Thao” and “Mirah”, BOBBY brought their unique six piece band sound to the First Unitarian Church in Philly. We’re big fans of Mirah. Their song “Float Away” always seems to find its way onto our playlists. We’d hadn’t had an opportunity to see BOBBY before but we’d had a chance to listen to them and were interested to see how they would translate from our speaker docks to a live venue.

With vocals from Molly Sarle (of Mountain Man) and a wide range of musical influences (including Bjork, Kate Bush, and The Books) it’s hard to categorize BOBBY, but we can say that they are a very talented and enjoyable band (and definitely worth checking out live).

Sure, we could tell you about the show in words, but we thought the best way to introduce you to BOBBY was by stimulating your senses with some of the tracks off of their self titled debut album, and with photos from their live show. We know you’ll enjoy it, we did.

LISTEN:

\”Sore Spores\” by BOBBY

\”Groggy\” by BOBBY

LOOK:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

[Photo credits: Jim Soloman]