In the EDM world, the club is king. DJs grind night after night to earn their space behind the booth, their name in LED lights while the confetti rains down
So for their ongoing Sweatbox tour, chart-topping sisters Yasmine and Jahan Yousaf have chosen to play smaller, more intimate venues with a live band including drummer Frank Zummo and guitarist Devin Bronson.
“We never did a really intimate tour,” Krewella’s Jahan Yousaf says, “so when we went on the Get Wet Tour in 2013, those were all, like, 3,000-, 4,000-person venues. They were huge. We didn’t really give our fans an intimate experience, and Yasmine and I really wanted to do that with the live band.”
In Miami, they’ll play one of the smaller venues on the tour: Churchill’s Pub. Though the Little Haiti punk dive bar might seem like an odd choice for the EDM-pop group (because it is), Jahan explains it fits Krewella better than you might think. “People say that our music is electronic dance music, but we see ourselves as just doing our own thing.
“We play some of these big electronic music festivals with huge production and huge stages, but when I think about our aesthetic and our vision, it is more primal, and it isn’t about this grand perfection. It’s about being raw and gritty in these venues and having kids crowd-surf and climb onstage and the walls are dripping,” Jahan says. So, when planning the Sweatbox tour, Churchill's made sense for what Krewella wanted to accomplish. "When I think about the Sweatbox Tour, that's more of mine and Yasmin’s style," Jahan continues. "That reminds me of the shows we grew up on. It reminds me of the music we grew up on and experiences we like when we go to shows... The high school bands and the metal shows that we'd go to that would bring out just reckless kids.”
Krewella has some experience playing venues this size, but mostly overseas. Jahan remembers one basement club in Berlin in particular: “It had really low ceilings. Five hundred people fit in there, and it felt really grimy, and I remember being like, I would love to do a live band show in a venue like this some day.” The intimacy of it all was something Jahan had sorely missed in her run of festival gigs. "I can literally point to a kid in the back of the crowd and be like, ‘Hey, are you enjoying your beer?’”
The Churchill’s show promises to be a rare treat for Krewella’s die-hards, and the duo is just as excited for the opportunity as the fans. “It feeds our soul because it’s amazing to see these fans singing along to songs that others don’t know," says Jahan. "They’re the songs on the EP; they’re the songs on the album that weren’t singles — just random songs that we’ve released — and those are songs that Yasmine and I have poured our hearts and souls into, and to see that enthusiasm about every single song is exactly what you want as an artist.”
In case you don’t snatch up tickets for the small show fast enough, fear not. Krewella hasn’t given up on the club life just yet. They’ll play an afterparty set at LIV following
“In our eyes, success is the joy and the happiness we get from playing these shows,” Jahan says. “Everyone has their own version of success. This might not be a lucrative tour for us, but we see it as a building step and an investment in our future, a way to connect with the fans, and also something that brings us so much joy every night.”
Krewella. 8 p.m. Thursday, October 6, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Tickets cost $50 via krewella.com/sweatbox.
11 p.m. Thursday, October 6, at LIV, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-4680; livnightclub.com. Tickets cost $30 via krewella.com/sweatbox.