Photos by Dan Leinweber of Razberry Photography.
As lovers of the untz, weather can never (and will never) hold us down. We've braved festivals in torrential downpour, scorching desert heat, and even sub-arctic temperatures (sup Igloofest?). Last night, a mere blocks away from NYC's iconic Union Square, hoards of devoted Gorgon City fans, let's call them the Gorgonites, braved hellish winter winds to see the duo of Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott, who brought their new live show to the Big Apple's Irving Plaza, Tuesday night, for the very first time.
As a live outfit, Matt and Kye appeared on the venue's cozy (AKA, really small) stage with a setup much like that of Disclosure, both behind their own table, a vast control station armed with an array of gear such as a NordWave synthesizer (controlled by Kye), various drum machines and sequencers, a touch screen in which Matt performed Fruit-Ninja-esque finger slides, an electronic drum kit (also controlled by Matt), as well as a hoard of other knick-knacks I won't even pretend to know the names of. Additionally, they were backed by a drummer (introduced merely as Tom) and two vibrant vocalists— Lulu James and Josh Berry—who sang for the most of the set's entirety.
After Dirtybird rising star Justin Jay warmed up the room with some thermal tech-jams, Gorgon appeared on the stage to a thundering crowd roar. For most of their hour-ish set, and as to be expected, the band cycled through many of the tracks from their debut album, Sirens. If you have even remotely dabbled in the duo's wonderful LP—you'll know that a hefty portion of the tracks are incredibly vocal driven, with guest appearances from Jennifer Hudson, MNEK, Laura Welsh, and Katy B. While none of those stars actually took part in the group's NYC debut, the vocalists they did have in tow, made us all forget about their absence in minutes, with some top-notch belting, and a vibrant on-stage persona. For the instances in which Matt and Kye delved into more jammy sections of UK garage, jungle, and drum 'n' bass, the two vocalists quickly turned MCs, with energetic calls to the crowd and raucous dance stylings.
Early highlights of the set included house-thumper "6AM," "Here For You," and "Coming Home," tracks that were presented seamlessly in the live setting, and one's that are exciting to witness the guys jam out to with an arsenal of analog gear. As with any live electronic gig, most of us can't tell exactly what they're doing up there, but does anyone really care? The answer is no. For dance music devotees, and especially the artists themselves, it's a chance for something different; a fuller experience in which the music we know and love is brought to life. After hearing the packed crowd belt out nearly every word to many of Gorgon's popular tracks, it's safe to say they were feeling (and giving) the love in full force.
All in all, Gorgon City's live gig was everything a Gorgonite, or even casual passerby, would (and should) want. When put alongside the the most obvious comparison, Disclosure, Matt and Kye seemed willing to get a tad weirder (and less pop-driven) with their live show, often bringing things back to their UK roots through intensified breakdowns of squelchy bass, and darker, more ominous, tones, as well as more effects. They even went seriously old-school with a memorable cover of Roy Davis Jr's seminal deep house anthem "Gabriel," which had me feeling things.
After exiting the stage to much applause, the group returned for an obvious glory-lap of their smash hit "Ready For You Love." Below the elevated section in which I stood, I quite literally saw fans holding each other in deep embrace as they belted the song's lyrics with ear-to-ear smiles. Was it merely Valentine's Day afterglow, or perhaps too many cheap Gin & Tonics? Hell no. 'Twas the power of the Gorgon, live.
David needs you to use, use, use, use , use, use, your imagination. @DLGarber