Disclosure w/ Sam Smith @ T5 1/17/2013
The UK brotherly duo Disclosure completed a sold-out, three night run at Terminal 5 this weekend, proving that, despite the fact that their critically-acclaimed debut album Settle clearly mines very British influences, their potential to grow here seems unlimited. Pictures from night 1 (Friday, 1/17) are in this post.
I attended Saturday night's show (1/18). Two young hip-hop artists, Bishop Nehru and Vic Mensa (along with Samo Sound Boy), opened the show, each utilizing just a DJ and their own energy to work the crowd. Nehru in particular was delightfully charismatic, reaching across the venue's security pit to touch the hands of fans throughout his set. While many of his songs relied on fairly generic, mid-tempo beats that could easily slide into a range of commercial playlists, his drawl-heavy lyrics were often entrancing and quick-witted. Mensa's set began shortly after Nehru finished, and he brought out a few hype-men who seemed both thrilled and anxious to be on stage in front of 3,000 people. Despite mentioning his hometown of Chicago several times, Mensa gave lots of endearing shout-outs to New York before ending his set rather abruptly and hightailing it off the stage.
Disclosure's dual tables full of gear and elaborate light setup came to life with a bright screen flashing their now-iconic face logo as the brothers unassumingly took the stage following a short break. The set began with a deep, ambient swell before launching into "F For You," which found Howard adding his own voice under a submerged and pitch-shifted vocal line. Both Howard and Guy sporadically supplemented their booming tracks with live keyboard playing and minimal yet tasteful percussion accents, but it's hard to overstate the importance of the band's elaborate, strobe-heavy light show. Despite the fact that Disclosure is now playing to festival-size crowds, neither brother seemed to be terribly confident on stage, and more, um, un-Settle-ing was the lack of interaction between Howard and Guy, as they rarely spoke or looked at each other.
While many of the songs didn't differ greatly from the recorded versions, Guy did trigger many of their signature vocal samples in new rhythms and arrangements. The set relied on a few tight, seamless transitions, making especially nice use of noise swells from a Korg Monotribe. "When a Fire Starts to Burn" got hands in the air, as did "You and Me." Despite lacking in spontaneity and interaction, much of the crowd was simply thrilled at the opportunity to witness Disclosure's undeniably well-written songs being pumped through Terminal 5's massive, bass-heavy sound system and it was clear that the duo's popularity is still on the rise.
All three nights, Sam Smith joined the band for the encore to sing on single "Latch" and they'll do it again tonight (1/20) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Sam will be back in NYC when his solo tour hits March 24 at Webster Hall and tickets for that show are still available.
More special guests: at Sunday's show (1/19) Mary J. Blige came out to provide vocals on "F for You" and video of that is below. Surprisingly, though Disclosure collaborators London Grammar were in town for their own shows right beforehand, they didn't perform with them.
In other news, Pitchfork reports that the Lawrence brothers spent some time in the studio with Q-Tip while here, so keep an eye out for that collaboration. Meanwhile, check out more pictures from Disclosure's first Terminal 5 show below...
Samo Sound Boy
with Sam Smith
Disclosure & Mary J Blige "F For You" - Live @ Terminal 5 NYC 1.19.14