Posted in music | pictures on February 15, 2011

photos by Dominick Mastrangelo, words by Rachel Kowal

Baths @ Knitting Factory
Baths

Star Slinger may have bowed out, but Saturday night's alliterative line-up still proved to be a delightful exercise in spacey electro-pop. The show began with Mikey Sanders' project, Blackbird Blackbird. Though he typically performs solo, Sanders had help from his friend Frank. Much like Baths, Blackbird Blackbird is heavily comprised of bass-heavy laptop samples that are skillfully manipulated by a series of knobs and faders and set to nice, clear vocals.

Sanders mentioned multiple times how "fucking stoked" he was to be playing over the course of his 20-minute set, and the audience responded to this enthusiasm by beginning to loosen up. Though the night was still young, it was clear that a dance party was brewing.

But before things got too frenzied, the dancers got a bit of a respite thanks to Braids' pleasantly dreamy set. After a long, meandering instrumental intro as the band and technicians ironed out some last-minute kinks, the lights suddenly changed and Braids exploded into the moody crowd pleaser "Lemonade."

Lead singer and guitarist Raphaelle Standell-Preston had a big smile on her face throughout the evening, despite her apparent illness. (She had thought ahead to bring a a steaming thermos and a Kleenex box on stage with her.) But even more notable than her upbeat disposition was her ability to hit every note - especially the high ones in "Lammicken." (At times, she looked a bit surprised when she nailed them, too.) When she finally confessed that she had "lost" her voice near the end of their set, she could barely talk. Luckily, the final song in the set called for some shrieking and audience participation.

When it was finally time for Baths, both Will Wiesenfeld and the sold-out crowd were ready to dance. "Ok. You guys want to hear music, I assume," Wiesenfeld began. "Let's do it!" As he began to play his first song, he turned to the sound technician a few seconds in. "Everything louder! Louder, louder, louder!"

It's easy to knock laptop musicians, but unlike some performers, Wiesenfeld is anything but dull. With his hands moving rapidly over dials and knobs, Wiesenfeld was a blur. He danced as much as physically possible, sending the key ring at his belt loop jingling wildly, which added yet another layer to the music.

"Oh my God. I love him already!" yelled a girl behind me during the first song. Everyone was gushing and in good spirits - it's hard not to be with lyrics like "It's a breezy, beautiful day." Meanwhile, Wiesenfeld was soaking up the love with a big grin on his face. "We're all friends here. I know all of you," he cried out at one point.

He was moving so much that he somehow managed to dislodge his glasses - twice. "I don't have any rock star things other than my glasses falling off, so that's peak. That's as bad ass as I get," he joked.

Following his action-packed set (which included a number of new songs), Wiesenfeld returned to uproarious applause for a one-song encore before admitting to the crowd and admitting, I don't have any more. I'm going to disappear."

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The Saturday night show was over before midnight which is when Todd P took over for a late night party feating a set by John Maus.

Braids play again at Glasslands tonight (12/15), and then Baths and Braids continue their tour together at a sold out Mercury Lounge on Wednesday. More pictures from Knitting Factory below...

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Blackbird Blackbird...

Blackbird Blackbird

Blackbird Blackbird

Blackbird Blackbird

Blackbird Blackbird

Blackbird Blackbird

Blackbird Blackbird

Braids...

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Braids

Baths...

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

Baths

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Comments (17)

damn...spaced on blackbird blackbird rolling through nyc...bummer.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 12:38 PM

[crickets & tumbleweed]

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 12:49 PM

How are these gigs selling out, do they have a lot of friends in town?

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 12:58 PM

Amazing show and very powerful. The guy in front of me at one point broke down into tears toward the end of Braids set, and his girlfriend wrapped her flowing arms around his waistline to let him know she was there for him. It was a beautiful Valentine's Day experience.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 12:59 PM

abnyone have an extra to mercury lounge show?

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 1:11 PM

12.59 - I saw that couple, he had dropped his hummus and it got all squished.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 1:14 PM

Totally off topic but the last time I saw Braids, there was this amazingly annoying couple who were not only talking during the whole show but were talking about TMI info. The guy kept asking her "Do you like my seven and a half inches? Do you like my seven and a half inches? Is it the biggest you've ever had?" Yeah bro you're cool.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 1:17 PM

blackbird blackbird should be headlining.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 2:03 PM

12:59, get bent.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 2:19 PM

i want a ticket to mercury too, i'll leave before baths. braid's native speaker is so far the best album of 2011.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 2:31 PM

I heard their record, it's alright

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 2:41 PM

Hey, this looks like a really fun show.

Thanks BV, for convincing me to just stay home!

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 3:19 PM

these photos are really good!

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 3:42 PM

dominick rules hard, photos are always top notch, even at a place with crummy lighting like knitting factory

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 3:59 PM

Thanks to the photographer for the plus one to this show!

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 6:17 PM

that's Frank Midnite from Bright Future. They performed his Hawaii remix that night.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 8:13 PM

Sorry. There's little you can do to make multiple photos of a guy knob twiddling exciting.

Posted by Anonymous | February 15, 2011 8:42 PM

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