Saturday, July 9, 2011
Better Than: Well, that's a tough one.
The problem with overly hyping a DJ set from an indie music icon is that you'll almost always be left disappointed. We'd like to preface this review by stating the following: There probably isn't a bigger fan of Nancy Whang out there. Seriously.
This humble reviewer lived and breathed for LCD Soundsystem when they were around (and even now), cried when hearing they were breaking up, whined when scoring tickets to their final show at Madison Square Garden wasn't even a faint possibility. So it shouldn't be hard to picture how excited we were to see her at the Electric Pickle last night. We write this review with a bit of a heavy heart.
When we arrived at the Electric Pickle around 11 p.m. on Saturday night, it was already packed. Promises of open bar translated into free vodka and Grolsch till midnight, and even the bartender was so excited to see Nancy that she couldn't stop dancing when one of the warmup DJs blasted LCD's "I Can Change" over the speakers. But could Whang really change her stripes from dance musician extraordinaire to club DJ? We were about to find out.
A little before midnight, opening local act Krisp hit the stage. Though they started with a little feedback, their music was very dancey. Its sound was something like Hot Hot Heat and Hot Chip mixed with LCD Soundsystem; synth- and keyboard-heavy, and just overall bounce-worthy. Their energy reached Passion Pit-like proportions pretty quickly, and the crowd felt every ounce of it. They sported obviously fake Super Mario-esque mustaches, sung some of their songs in German (although no one even really noticed), and basically worked the crowd the best they knew how.
Their lead vocalist kept the crowd dancing with lyrics like "We're only going to heaven if it feels like hell/We're only going to heaven if it tastes like caramel," and hyped up the crowd with Spanish catchphrases. Glow sticks were raised, and the audience collectively jumped around, giddy with free-flowing free booze and the thought of seeing Whang up close and personal.
A little after 1:30 a.m., Nancy Whang slickly slithered her way into the DJ booth upstairs. We say slithered because there wasn't so much as an introduction. She didn't take the mic to say hello to her fans. Nothing. The crowd was already jammed in, dancing, yelling, and sounding more like they were at a sporting event than a club, and we worried that might scare Nancy off a little. We love Nancy.
Whang mentioned in an interview recently that she would not be singing at all on Saturday. We were a little crushed, but excited to hear what "fun jams" (her words) she had in store for us. For Nancy, "fun" translated into obscure '80s lyric-less dance songs that no one knows the name of and pop songs from the '00s from the likes of Annie.
Half an hour into the set, and a lot of people had stopped dancing, thanks mostly to Whang's haphazard mixing. The hangovers started to set in. And we heard several show-goers remark, "Man, how am I supposed to dance to this?"
The party was over before it even started. And we were left a little heartbroken. Such a shame.
The Crowd:A room full of 20- and 30-somethings, frat bros, regular bros, and people who really like to dance.
Overheard in the Crowd: After about a 35-minute wait, the person next to me said, "I'm really happy that the bartender is having a good time, but I wish she would dance less and serve more drinks."
Random Detail: I love you, Nancy Whang!
Krisp Set List
"Will you tell"
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"Transit of Venus"
"When u Coming Home
"Burning" (by Whitest Boy Alive)