and friends took the stage at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn last Saturday, (once again proving why Billyburg is the 'weird' capital of NYC) and it was a perfect example of how this unique band delivers the goods like no other. All three bands featured represented the wide pastiche of sounds the Brooklyn neighborhood is capable of producing, and the mishmash of genres brought in people from all kinds of subcultures. Cult Fever opened things up with a focused indie rock sound that had their growing fan base jumping around and interacting with the band on a personal level. The Hot Sardines joined them for two of the tracks, bringing a horn section and a stand up bass to fill out Cult Fever's already powerful, layered sound. It was a night of celebration for them, as they had released their first 7" earlier that day.
After a brief intermission, Nomi Ruiz shifted gears and prepped the audience for what was to come later in the night, with her pop oriented electronica set. The bass this woman produces is simply incredible and I suspect it tested the limits of the sound system. The floor (and my innards) were literally shaking. Pretty powerful stuff.
The lights came down, seemingly just to tempt the audience, and after a few anxious moments, AVAN LAVA entered in matching duds. From that point forward, things got weird. From the opening moments of their set to the very last, they kept the crowd pulsing to the fierce dance rhythms. AVAN LAVA unleashed tremendous hooks and soaring choruses to the hall.
It became clear that lead singer Tom Hennes planned to make good on his promise that AVAN LAVA would deliver a "stadium-sized show." Confetti guns, an inflatable raft, traditional crowd surfing, and a dancing futuristic cat lady in a unitard helped influence everyone to dance their asses off while band members would take the occasional grope-break. The choreographed dance routines culminated in a massive encore when around seven people (also in matching outfits) joined them for an epic conclusion of body movement. Sound ridiculous? Check out photos from the extravagant hipster Cirque du Soleil below.
We knew there was a reason we invited AVAN LAVA to perform our party down at SXSW. If you're down there, feel free to stop by