On a cold November night in New York City, promotional gurus HARD made sure to turn up the heat for its freezing attendees at Terminal 5 for a post-Thanksgiving party. And with an impressive bill that would surely pack the venue, I made sure not to miss out on the action.
As I entered the venue, the Alabamian rapper, Yelawolf took the stage. Without any real knowledge of the rapper, other than that his album, “Trunk Muzik 0-60‘s” recent release and his buzz (and the fact that Shaq is a fan), I was set on giving him a fair shot on making me a fan and he did not disappoint. What was perhaps the most intriguing part of his performance was his ability to control and engage the audience without fillers from a hypeman.
Following the rapper was DJ sets by members of the popular Swedish indie buzzband of yesteryear, Miike Snow. Playing music from their own repertoire as well as other irresistibly poppy tracks, the DJs had the crowd moving and vibrating with energy. They even attracted the rare breed of ravers to come out. It almost takes you back to the glory days of the previous venue that Terminal 5 now stands on. Oh, how dance music has evolved…
Flying Lotus quickly set up shop with a drummer and a bassist donning feathers a la The Warriors. Flying Lotus’ tempo of music felt surprisingly off beat initially, particularly after Miike Snow’s upbeat party vibe, but the beat producer settled in and got the crowded tripping off his popular singles from his most recent album, “Pattern+Grid World,” “Cosmogramma” and “Los Angeles” too. Even Yelawolf had to give them credit with a quick cameo and a little crowd surfing action.
Bringing the show to its full climax, Montreal-born DJ, A-trak took the stage. He repped his label to the fullest and rocked the crowd with his signature blend of electronic/hip-hop dance music, including crowd pleasers like Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand” and “aNYWay.” He also spun music off his “Dirty South Dance 2″ project and his remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Heads Will Roll.” Also known as Kanye’s personal DJ, A-Trak showed off his beat juggling and scratch skills in his rendition of Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock” that got the crowd (and myself) going crazy. And if you happen to forget the label A-Trak reps, he made sure you’d remember with a number of “Fooooooooool’s Goooooooooooold” drops, the Fool’s Gold mascot and Fool’s Gold entourage throwing gear into the crowd mid-set.
All in all, HARD threw a helluva dance party with zero frills and lulls. Each one of the acts made sure to do their much needed part in helping burn off those Thanksgiving calories.
Photos by Jason K Chang for www.jasonkchang.com.