Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul blew the lid off Bowery Ballroom w/ Yaya Bey (pics, review)
For a Tuesday night, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul brought serious Friday Night Party vibes to Bowery Ballroom. The Brussels-based duo were playing their first NYC show since releasing their fantastic debut album and only their second here ever. (They played small East Village club Nublu right before the pandemic in 2020, which was their North American live debut.) Topical Dancer is already a blast, but every song was reworked even more explicitly for the club, with new parts added, always keeping you surprised, entertained and dancing.
For the most part, like their collaborators Soulwax, Charlotte and Bolis worked up a show that was essentially a nonstop mix, with builds, breaks and drops, bass solos, choreography, jokes, great lighting, and crowd participation. They had the audience providing the "bah bah!"s in the intense "Paténipat," and they both went into the crowd during "Ceci n'est pas un cliché." This was a show in the best possible way.
While the 2020 Nublu show, and her first two EPs, were just billed as Charlotte Adigéry, Bolis has been her collaborator from the start, and watching at Bowery it is clear he is not just a producer but an essential part of the equation, bringing so much energy and joy to the performance, whether dancing, working the mix, or playing live bass, which he did a lot, coming out to the front of the stage to vamp a little while laying down the groove.
Charlotte, of course, is a force, bringing so much style, wit and charisma to the night, whether affecting a vocal fry American accent, replicating the synchronized laughter on "HAHA" (which works even better live than on album), belting it out, or dancing up a storm.
From the opening "Hey" through the set-closing "Thank You!," they kept everyone moving. "Thank You!" is a sarcastic song, calling out people for unwanted comments and advice, but Charlotte & Bolis were sincere in their thanks on stage, saying the show was a dream come true. This show was nonstop fun and if there was anyone there who wasn't already sold on them, they left a convert.
Charlotte & Bolis play Bentonville, AR amazing-looking Format Festival on Friday and then head to the West Coast, playing Hollywood Bowl on Sunday opening for Chvrches and Grace Jones, and then the Desert Daze festival (their current set is perfect for festivals). They'll be back in the spring, having been announced for Big Ears 2023. All upcoming dates are listed below.
This was an all-around great night, as opening was Yaya Bey, who, like Charlotte & Bolis, made one of our favorite albums of 2022 so far. She seemed like a last minute addition to the show and played a very short set backed by keyboardist. Her album, Remember the North Star, has many clubby moments but this was a set of spare R&B, just glistening electric piano and her voice. She captivated and left me wondering what a full production would be like. Find out when she plays Brooklyn's C'mon Everybody on October 11.
Photos from the whole night by by Toby Tenenbaum are in this post.
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul - 2022/2023 Tour Dates
FRI 23 SEPTEMBER - FORMAT FESTIVAL BENTONVILLE, AR, US
SUN 25 SEPTEMBER - Hollywood Bowl Hollywood, CA, US
FRI 30 SEPTEMBER - Desert Daze 2022 Perris, CA, US
FRI 28 OCTOBER - Cactus Club Bruges, Belgium
SAT 29 OCTOBER - TRIX Borgerhout, Belgium
FRI 4 NOVEMBER - Vooruit Ghent, Belgium
SAT 5 NOVEMBER - Het Depot Leuven, Belgium
THU 10 NOVEMBER – SUN 13 NOVEMBER - Le Guess Who? 2022 Utrecht, Netherlands
March 30 - April 2 - BIG EARS Knoxville, TN