Photo credit: Sodakat
If you had to quarantine music and nightlife to one street in Manhattan, my vote is that it would be 52nd street. Filled with Jazz during the mid 20th century and speakeasies such as the 21 Club, West 52nd was the perfect spot for re-locating and re-packaging the Roseland Ballroom from a bland, segregated social club to one of the biggest hotspots for Disco and Rock phenoms.
Fast-forward to last Friday night: Boys Noize showed that it doesn’t matter what genre of artist you are or what generation you come from. If you are trying to tear down the ballroom through piercing decibels, then you have got to bring the noize!
I arrived in town just a few hours before the show, scouring to recuperate some energy I had lost from reading so much damn literature during the week at University (by now I can recite Don Quixote in English and in Spanish, front and backwards). I unfortunately only caught the tail end of the opening acts UZ and Spank Rock. But nonetheless, the two artists seemed to manage a balance between impressing the crowd with their abilities and getting the audience ready for the main event.
The twenty minute wait for Boys Noize after the opening acts threw me off a bit despite it not being all that unusual. A veil of sorts covered what looked to be a giant cube (did I end up at a Deadmau5 concert?). Once the veil was cast away, I was reassured that I was in the right venue. What stood before me was a giant skull that reminded me of the old game show, “Legends of the Hidden Temple”. Except, if a contestant got caught stealing coins in this skull, the consequences may be a bit graver. Sticking to the theme of OUT OF THE BLACK, as the tour has been dubbed, the skull was mat black with beaming red eyes that pierced over the crowd.
Photo Credit: Sodakat
Then came the smoke machines and a lone hand rising from behind the skull. It made me feel as though Iron Maiden had planned this out for Boys Noize, and that is in no way a complaint! His entire set was one that had the sentiment of a rock concert rather than what has become the common expectation for EDM artists. Easing into his first song “What You Want” after purposefully jumbled “Gax” opening, Alexander Ridha set a strong tone for the night. Throwing in some classics such as “Jeffer” and his remix of “Swoon” inspired a sentiment of nostalgia amongst the crowd that pushed us to beg for more from the Oi Oi Oi and Power EPs - which we were promptly granted. After Boys Noize came out for an encore with “& Down,” I was left at a loss of words aside from: “that was a rock concert!”
If he is coming to your town soon, cancel your Christmas party plans, your friends birthday, that big interview for that job you really want, and go see this man. As for those of you who have to endure the unfortunate cancellations of his show, Portland for example, write to Live Nation and get the gigs back! You won’t be disappointed.