With the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon coming to an end, Saturday night was froth with concert junkies, hoping to get one last fix before the annual weeklong celebration came to an end. Irving Plaza drew in a large number of the fans hoping to get their night started early.
Opening act Jinja Safari, imported from Sydney, Australia, entertained the crowd with its animalistic antics, climbing all over the stage equipment, and its eccentric island-y, afropop songs, reminiscent of Vampire Weekend. Much to the band’s surprise (“Seriously, how do you know us [our songs]?” asked guitarist Marcus Azon), the crowd was won over instantly by Jinja Safari’s highly energetic stage presence and catchy rhythms, following every song with thunders of cheers and hollers. Closing its set with the band members all performing a drum solo break down, multi-instrumentalist Cameron ‘Pepa’ Knight dove into the crowd, hugging a pair of adoring die-hard fans who had been screaming their lungs out from beginning to end of their set. It was indie-fan-appreciation at its finest.
Following Jinja Safari was L.A.’s NO (the band). Contrasting Jinja Safari’s active, carefree-style, the band rocked the venue with its cool demeanor and “post-hymnal anthematic” sound. While not as much body shaking occurred, the crowd’s shouts and wide-eyes proved the band made its mark on the concert goers’ CMJ memories.
As the multi-colored stage lights illuminated, Electric Guest took the stage in excited strides. Vocalist Asa Taccone announced his completion of yoga practice early that day, and proved his flexibility with extreme dance moves. Opening the set with “Under the Gun,” Taccone impressed the crowd with his vocals while getting down onstage with intense knee-wobbles to the song’s to the song’s electropop grooves.
Midway through the set, Taccone took a moment to reiterate to the crowd his intense love for New York, alongside mentioning his tale of watching Fast And Furious with an Asian masseuse in Philadelphia for 45 minutes. Following the quick standup act, the band played its new song “Holiday,” the self-titled track off its upcoming EP. The song was an immediate hit for the crowd, with its ’80s-style synth melodies getting everyone moving in the tightly packed venue.
Going out with a bang, the band ended its set with their dance hit “This Head I Hold” and the calming “Holes.” After closing its encore with “Jenny” off the upcoming EP, the audience members left with sweat covering their clothes, ready to explore the city during the few remaining hours of CMJ.