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Perfume Genius brought his massive new live show to BK Steel (pics, review)

Perfume Geniustour hit Brooklyn Steel last night (5/16). It was by far the biggest room he’s ever headlined in NYC, and it was super packed with very excited fans. Like he does on his new album No Shape, he opened the show with “Otherside,” and the part where the full band kicks in was even more overwhelming than it is on the album. Perfume Genius had so much star power and so much command of the room, that it’s hard to believe it was just a few years ago he was seated at his piano and playing small venues. When he did do his few solo (or duo) quiet songs, he had the whole place silent and it’s really not too often that a crowd that large is that mesmerized and respectful. Having fully mastered the balancing act of being a pop star and a heartbreaking balladeer, Perfume Genius is currently putting on the best shows of his life.

Main member Mike Hadreas and his band — which only includes three other members but sounds absolutely massive — treated us to plenty of songs off the new album, with “Wreath” and lead single “Slip Away” coming off as huge highlights in a live setting. He’s still playing favorites from his earlier albums too, and all of his various styles blended together so well. The abrasive, industrial-tinged “My Body” and “Grid” off 2014’s Too Bright worked wonderfully next to the softer “Die 4 You” off the new album. Somber early songs “Mr. Peterson” and “Hood” came back to back in the encore and they matched the power of the louder No Shape and Too Bright songs played earlier in the set. And last night’s show reinforced that Perfume Genius’ finest moment is Too Bright single “Queen,” which ended the show. Fans were yelling for it early on, and Perfume Genius really went out with a bang by saving it for last. Sometimes I roll my eyes at the predictability of not playing the biggest hit until the very end, but with Perfume Genius, I couldn’t imagine a better way to end the show.

serpentwithfeet opened the show. His debut EP blisters came out last year on Tri Angle Records and his orchestral R&B sound pairs very well with Perfume Genius’ new album. Pictures of both artists are in the gallery above. Catch serpentwithfeet at Brooklyn’s Afropunk festival in August.

photos by Amanda Hatfield

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