(This is a repost of a review that I did for ElectronicNightLife.com, so head over there and show them some love in thanks for getting me into crazy parties.)Saturday night at the Manhattan Center (or Hammerstein Ballroom for all of us oldsters) was one of the best dance music events I’ve attended in almost a decade of partying. The evening started out with a stunning set by Chrome Sparks. While I’ve been a fan of the group for a while, I had no idea what they sounded like live. Their live show was a tremendous fusion of indie feels, signature synths, live percussion & a rocking vibe. The Glitch Mob fans who got there early were treated to a delightful performance that I hope resulted in hundreds of new followers for them. They totally deserve it, and just in case you want to know what they sound like, check out this cat video featuring their track “Marijuana.” When it dropped live, the crowd was massively into it.
The venue was perfect for this show, with the floor filled by the time Chrome Sparks finished up. For a mid-tier venue to be totally filled more than an hour before the headliner starts requires a special talent and that’s what The Glitch Mob was providing. The M Machine took the stage after a couple of minutes of tech and completely blew away the unsuspecting crowd. I’d not heard them live before either, but now they’re a must-attend if I end up at festivals they’re performing at or if they return to NYC.
Their set was a potent argument for their rise to Headliner status. The crowd was with them every step of the way, as they blended big room, deep house, banging electro and a couple of fun surprises with ease. Even when their system crashed mid-drop, the crowd accepted their apology, with no one moving from the dance floor. They kicked back into their set a minute or two, finishing out strong with some huge bangers that had the crowd “massively stoked” for Glitch Mob. That’s in quotes because I actually heard an attendee say that to his friend as they walked by.
This was their first show in NYC since 2012, and Gothamites were hung out to dry when Glitch rolled through on their Love Death earlier this year. If you were at the Terminal 5 show you know how special this group is and the quality of the shows they can put on. The big fans (i.e. Me) went down to the show they did at Electric Factory in Philadelphia to see them, so I had a good idea of what to expect. Or so I thought.
Their set was, in a word, legendary. This was a completely different set than the one I’d seen only a few months ago, and whoever convinced them to change it up needs to be given the highest of fives. The set started out with an assortment of everyone’s favorite tracks off of Drink The Sea, their debut album. The crowd surged as the Blade launched the percussive onslaught that is The Glitch Mob live. Their massive drums, controllers & synth systems were on full view to the audience, so anyone who wants to have the “press play” argument won’t find any supporters here. Boretta, Ooah & ediT had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands, as their electic fusion of rock, breakbeat, hip hop & bass music flooded the ballroom. Their Derezzed remix from the Tron movie Daft Punk score had the floor rocking out in ways I’ve not seen since I saw Rammstein at that venue in high school.
Pulling tracks from We Can Make The World Stop, the trio started filtering into their more recent work, which, was a potent choice. While the Love Death Immortality tour started with Mind Of A Beast & Our Demons, the new album’s tracks hit the crowd about halfway into the set, pushing the energy higher and higher. Becoming Harmonious & the rest of the Love Death Immortality album were celebrated by the crowd, as they’d been waiting to hear these tracks since the album came out. They even surprised the dance floor with their Tupac remix. Hearing their massive “California” rework live was fantastic, but not the thing I was looking most forward to.
They played their Prodigy – Breathe remix. I’ve been waiting to hear this live since The Prodigy released their expanded 15th Anniversary edition of Fat of the Land (their seminal late 90’s album). They didn’t play it in Philadelphia, which was my only regret at that show. However, here in NYC, the track killed. The crowd loved every second and the dance floor exploded some more. This & their Seven Nation Army remix showed they knew what the crowd wanted to hear, and boy did they deliver. The mandatory multi-song encore was more of exactly what we wanted and a well deserved victory lap for the trio. They’ve come a long way since their Drink The Sea mixtapes, and I’ve been so happy to see them become the super group we all knew they would be.
This was one for the record books folks, and if you missed it, you have my deepest condolences. This show was dope and I can’t wait to see what the three have up their sleeves next. (Photos by Dylan Smith)