A windy night in Williamsburg found a line winding down the block of Kent Avenue early, friends and couples of all ages huddled up waiting to get IDs checked and enter the infamous DIY venue Glasslands Gallery. Once inside, however, patrons of the Afropunk-curated Red Bull Sound Select Presents: New York night were anything but polite and orderly. A breeze blew over the East River, but inside the venue was like a sauna as the 18-and-up crowd jumped, yelled, raged, sweat, moshed, drank, danced, and vibed to an eclectic and loud-as-fuck lineup.
It seemed like each individual in the crowd had a different idea as to the night’s main attraction. There was something for everyone, something definitely NOT for everyone, and a lot to be discovered throughout the course of the intimate Brooklyn mini-festival. We jammed out from punk to funk with rap-rock-soul supergroup White Mandigos (consisting of Murs, Bad Brains’ Darryl Jenifer, and Mass Appeal director Sacha Jenkins, to name a few), the barely-legal (are they legal?) Jersey boys punk outfit Sunny Gang, Austin-bred electro hardcore trio BLXPLTN (their first time ever in NYC!), and singer-songwriter Gordon Voidwell, performing with a live drummer who lended a harder, louder sound to his smooth, synthy, don’t-compare-it-to-Frank Ocean-style R&B crooning.
The later-than-expected night culminated in a sweat-soaked performance by her majesty, avant-garde lyricist of the underground Mykki Blanco, but before all THAT noise the Arcade had a chance to speak outside the venue with each of the evening’s slightly less well-known artists. We were inspired by this glimpse into the brains, heart, and sweat behind the music of these performers on the verge, and hope you are too. Enjoy, and by all means don’t miss the next Red Bull Sound Select party that comes to a city near you.
Red Bull Sound Select Presents comes to Chicago April 11, Seattle April 16, Austin April 16, Dallas April 17, Nashville April 18, and Atlanta April 20. Check http://www.redbullsoundselect.com/events for lineups in an upcoming city near you, and experience new music any time on http://www.redbullsoundselect.com/ or on Twitter at @RBSoundSelect.
The first annual, month-long music and art series Red Bull Music Academy Festival comes to New York May 1-30. Hit up http://nyc.redbullmusicacademy.com/ for more info, or follow them on Twitter at @RBMA.
- Marie Cravens