FKA twigs performed her steamy “Congregata” at Brooklyn Hangar (pics, video), does it again tonight and Tuesday
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Bill Pearis
FKA twigs @ Brooklyn Hangar 5/17/2015
"Hot" is perhaps the optimal word to describe FKA twigs' Sunday night NYC show, her first of three performances of the spectacle that is her "Congregata." The Red Bull Music Academy show, which was as much a dance performance as a concert, was sexually-charged and happened at Sunset Park's Brooklyn Hangar which was a sweltering sauna. Everyone on and off stage was sweating. Onstage specifically, there was also vogueing, krumping, contortionism, a wall of lasers, an electric neon violin... and FKA twigs (Tahliah Barnett) at the center of it all.
At the end of the performance, Barnett would claim that there wasn't a concept for the show other than "wanting to convey to you how I was feeling at the time" she made LP 1, but it was clear that every second and every motion was thought out. "Congregata" is a physically demanding show, and at one point she was vaulted into the air multiple times for "freeze frame" moments. Between moments like that, the male dancers, the costumes (some of which were Alexander McQueen), the show echoed both Madonna's Truth or Dare and Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation aesthetics. Musically, FKA twigs is coming from a very different place however. It started simply but the wow factor came with those vaulting moments, the laser wall (which, with a bedazzled bustier, turned her into a discoball), and individual spotlights for the dancers including a roster of voguing legends, like Benjamin Milan and Leiomy Maldonado whose acrobatics in stilettos were beyond impressive.
FKA twigs vogue fam<3___last night was a legendary night, to share the stage with some of the real pioneers of voguing.... bringing the NYC vibe with all love no shade... Creating history as an artist by showing the art form how it should be shown<<3 // @fkatwigs @dashaunwesley @wond3rwoman1 @javierninja84 @ineedderek @alexm718 @dannip18 // #FKAtwigs #congregata #houseofmugler #houseoflanvin #houseofninja #houseofmilan #houseofprodigy #houseofladydi #benjaminmilan #voguing
As for the music, about half of LP 1 was performed. Her four-piece band was mostly percussion and mostly in silhouette. The crowd shrieked for a number of songs, as well as for twigs' high-end hiccupy coos. It was only when she spoke to the crowd at the end of the show that she broke character, talking about how everyone in her show are her friend, some very long time friends (and not flavors of the month), and about her first-ever show at Santos (when she was just "twigs") and last year's Webster Hall show that made her realize she could take her shows to another level. The night ended with a curtain call for the band and dancers, who were each given another chance to strut their stuff.
FKA Twigs performs "Congregata" again tonight and Tuesday, both of which are sold out. For those going, last night doors were a little late, not opening till 8:15 PM or so, and the long line (which went around the corner) moved slowly. It's likely they'll fix some of those problems for the next two shows, but the Sunday's show didn't start till around 9:45 and went till about 11:15 PM. Brooklyn Hangar is not the most conveniently located venue, but Red Bull Music Academy is offering a $20 voucher on Uber (Thousands of people, including twigs' fiance Robert Pattinson found their way there all right). Dress appropriately... did I mention it was hot?
additional photos by Drew Gurian, Red Bull Content Pool....