×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Concert Review: Young Fathers Devastate Brooklyn Crowd With Intimate, Very Loud Show

Bass so loud it is a physical presence. So loud that you feel it in your sternum, your shins; so loud at times you can feel your hair and clothes vibrating. So loud it feels like it’s pushing you backward.

That was the scene at Brooklyn’s tiny Elsewhere Tuesday night, where one of Britain’s most popular recent groups — Scotland’s Young Fathers, a forward-looking electronic-rock band a generation down from TV on the Radio but bearing laptops full of other influences as well — played an intimate club gig far below their usual scale: Now a decade into their career, the group’s sophomore album “Dead” won the country’s prestigious Mercury Prize in 2014 and while relatively below-the-radar in the States, they’re a regular at European summer festivals; their new album “Cocoa Sugar,” released in March, is one of this year’s best.

Thus, for the group to perform at this tiny Bushwick venue was a major underplay for them and a major coup for the venue, and while they delivered a strong set, they were simply too big for the densely packed room, which normally plays host to up-and-coming indie rock acts. The group’s normally vivid light show was reduced to alternating shadings of red, blue and yellow, and their complex sound — a constantly shifting electronic and sample-driven sound with rap-singing and chanty choruses — was a bit mashed into the venue’s small but powerful P.A.

But those are the trade-offs for an underplay of this scale — the group is playing two nights at the Hollywood Bowl with LCD Soundsystem and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs this weekend — and the band performed its full set, with material spanning all three of its albums but focused on “Sugar” and earlier favorites like “Only God Knows.” The quartet’s reliance on backing tracks means that three of its members are often not playing instruments — there’s a full-time drummer; the three singers also bash on percussion and occasionally play a boxy synthesizer toward the back of the stage that looked like it was transported from a Kraut-rock documentary — but they were plenty lively, with  rapper-singer Alloysious Massaquoi twisting across the stage while drummer Steven Morrison, tall and skinny and wearing an oversized button-down shirt, flailed at his drums like one of those cartoon skeleton drummers in the classic 1929 Disney cartoon “Silly Symphony.” When all four members were in kinetic motion is made for a vivid visual accompaniment to the music.

“Should we walk off and then come back for the encore like it’s a surprise, or should we just play the encore now?,” asked singer-rapper Kayus Bankole with a smile, as the group launched into its final song, concluding with thanks and a deafening blast on the synthesizer before heading offstage — presumably for a quick stop at the hotel before heading to the airport for a flight to Los Angeles, where they’re playing another small show at the Moroccan Lounge tonight.


 


More Music

  • Guy Moot

    Is Sony/ATV’s Guy Moot Headed for Top Job at Warner/Chappell?

    Ever since Jon Platt announced in September that he will be stepping down from his post at the helm of Warner/Chappell Publishing to take the top job at Sony/ATV when Martin Bandier’s contract is up at the end of March, speculation has been rife about who will take over for him. One name has been [...]

  • (L to R) MAHERSHALA ALI and

    Scores from 'Green Book,' 'Solo,' Others Disqualified from Oscar Race (EXCLUSIVE)

    First-round voting is underway for Oscar’s Original Song and Original Score categories, but Academy music-branch voters are discovering that four talked-about scores are missing from the eligibility list. Music for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Green Book,” “Mandy” and “The Other Side of the Wind” has been disqualified for various reasons, Variety has learned. More [...]

  • Marcus Mumford of the band Mumford

    Concert Review: Mumford & Sons Ride 'Delta' During U.S. Tour Opener in Philly

    Mumford & Sons have come a long way from their raw and rustic roots to have happily come no way at all.  Even though the British quartet smoothed and softened elements of the rough, intimate folk of their 2007 origin story to include flickering arena-rock guitars (on 2015’s “Wilder Mind”) and windy synths (2018’s “Delta”), [...]

  • The King Eric Clapton A Life

    Rashida Jones, Lili Zanuck Talk Grammy Nominations and the Music-Documentary Gold Rush

    Nothing takes you back to time and a place like the music of a particular era. That’s one big reason why music documentaries are flourishing at a time of enormous demand for high-end docu productions. This year’s five Grammy Award nominees for best music film reflect the appetite for stories about renowned and beloved musical figures, [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Varèse Sarabande's Top 10 Sellers List Led by 'Ghost,' 'T2,' 'Star Wars' Albums

    John Carpenter’s “Halloween” music? A “Star Wars” compendium? It’s no shock to see these show up on a list of soundtrack label Varèse Sarabande’s historical 10 biggest selling albums. More surprising? Non-genre soundtracks like “Rudy” and “The Man from Snowy River,” which film music fans snatched up in numbers matching some of the more obvious [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content