Monday, May 2, 2011

FIAT By Night w/ Jamie Lidell and LCD Soundsystem, April 29, 2011



Sorry about how late I am at putting this up, it's been quite an eventful weekend with very little time in between to update until now. Now that the formalities are out of the way, I must review one very special event thrown by the guys from FIAT USA (yes the car company from Italy).

FIAT took over the Deitch Gallery in Tribeca for about a week's worth of really cool events. I was privileged enough to make the guestlist for their FIAT By Night party this past Saturday (which started at 5pm and ended at 10pm). The event space was lovely, with all kinds of FIAT flare and even a few cars actually parked up inside. Free beer (Peroni of course) and wines were on the drink menu as well as passed hors d'oeuvres. The guys from People's Pops were making delicious frozen fruit popsicles (some complete with Amaretto) as well as snow cone cocktails! Lavazza was also making espresso so you could party even after the event was over, but preferably somewhere else! Now on to the music...

First to hit the stage was an artist by the name of Jamie Lidell. I didn't even know he was on the ticket because the main draw for me was the idea that LCD Soundsystem were going to be making some sort of appearance with some sort of musical performance, so I had to see that. With that said, I've never heard of Jamie Lidell, so I've clearly never heard his music. I couldn't possibly judge what it would be from his appearance and accent, hipsterish and British, respectively. When his band (keyboard and drums) started playing what sounded like a 70s soul song, the sound that came out of his mouth was utter bliss. I suppose I could say his singing voice is rather similar to a young Stevie Wonder, and it is brilliant. His first two songs I found myself standing there in awe not even grooving to the tunes because I couldn't believe how amazing this guy sounded live! If you know Jamie Lidell then you've grown accustom to his makeshift beats, electronic soul/funk sound and very soulful voice, if you don't know this guy, you really should get to know him. He touched on a few tunes, like "Multiply," "When I Come Back Around" and "What's The Use." If you know these songs and haven't heard them done live they don't sound the same, they sound exponentially better live, which is crazy when you consider how great they are on record. His performance is very energy based, singing wildly and dancing all over the stage while making really funny faces towards his band members. He even took time out to run through the crowd and sing with a few lucky patrons. At one point he makes a beat from scratch by beatboxing and singing all three parts of a harmony then setting it on a loop using a sampler and mixer he had on stage with him (as well as his laptop), then he proceeded to do a really cool song over the beat he just made, then mix it a little with turntables! Not doing too much, but at the same time showing just how talented this guy is, he's not just a guy with a great voice. I would love to see this guy play a regular set somewhere because of course this one was a short one (about 5 or 6 tracks) and he is just flat out awesome. Quite possibly the best new-to-me artist I've seen since Beyond This Point's performance last year. Amazing, a definite must see.

After Mr. Lidell turned the energy in the room all the way up, it was time for the boys Pat Mahoney and James Murphy to take the stage and start spinning some party tunes. It was then I'd realized that I was a pretty lucky person, hanging out at a ridiculously awesome event just dancing and jamming out to great tunes spun by Murphy and Mahoney, who played pretty much until the end of the night. They didn't use Serato either like some of today's "DJs," they actually mixed records, and MIXED them too not just turned on a song then turned it off to start a new song, these guys can actually juggle, but I suppose that's not really surprising. Their musical selection was also awesome, which I suppose is to also be expected. After the entire event was over James Murphy was still hanging around outside, talking to some of the people who attended it and happily snapping photos with fans. I'm not sure this event could have been done any better by FIAT, especially considering they kept the amount of people to a good level as to not have the place be packed like a sardine can. All in all it was a brilliant show and I'm very much looking forward to the summer for more things like this!

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