Perfume Genius continued NYC run at MHOW with Lydia Ainsworth (night 3 pics)
After his largest NYC show yet at Brooklyn Steel in May, Perfume Genius returned for four nights of smaller shows at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tuesday's (12/12) show, which I went to, was the third night overall, and the first night at MHOW. His excellent 2017 release No Shape is Perfume Genius's lushest, fullest sounding album yet, and he's brought it to life on this tour with a three piece band, including his partner Alan Wyffels. Mike Hadreas himself is far beyond the days of sitting quietly at a keyboard and instead embraces the role of frontman with abandon, pacing, dancing, and throwing himself bodily into his songs. He did return to the keyboard for quieter songs off Learning and Put Your Back N 2 It, as well as a brief cover of Sade's "By Your Side" that he performed solo. Find pictures from Tuesday's show in the gallery above, and a couple of videos and the setlist below.
Tuesday night's show happened under heightened tension as the results of the special Senate election in Alabama were being tabulated during Perfume Genius's set. Allegations of sexual misconduct against Republican nominee Roy Moore and stories of the racism and homophobia that have dogged his controversial career have dominated national headlines, and I doubt I was the only one anxiously refreshing the news between sets. A yell from the balcony between songs of "Doug Jones won!" was met with palpable relief and celebration on stage and in the crowd. The American political climate this year has given us little to celebrate and that someone who "probably" still thinks homosexuality should be illegal (among other repugnant opinions) lost an election only narrowly is pretty grim indeed. Perfume Genius's music is a celebration not only of our freedom to be flamboyantly gay, to writhe and sashay to set closer "Queen," but also to have stable, healthy, long term relationships that just happen to be homosexual, like "Alan" recounts; this was a vote to protect all of that, and celebrating its favorable outcome at this particular show was the best kind of post election party I can think of.
Perfume Genius's four show NYC run wraps up Wednesday (12/13) at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and tickets are still on sale. Lydia Ainsworth opened last night and returns to do the same tonight. She's also released a new video for "Open Doors" off her 2017 album Darling of the Afterglow, which you can watch below.
Setlist: Perfume Genius @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, 12/12/2017
Just Like Love
Body's in Trouble (Mary Margaret O'Hara)
Run Me Through
Die 4 You
By Your Side (Sade)