The atmosphere was heady and electric on Friday night at Glasslands in Brooklyn. The sold-out show kicked off right on time at 8:15 p.m. with a sweetly seductive set by Milán, aka vocalist Maria Neckam. The venue was slowly beginning to fill up. It was a mixed crowd of bespectacled kids bundled up in winter coats shyly lingering close to the bar and a few nostalgically dressed ravers dancing independently at the foot of the stage. Neckam set an enchantingly hazy tone for the night with her layered vocals and languid electronic beats.
Next up was Brooklyn-based duo The Mast, whose high-energy electro-pop seemed to instantly magnetize people to the stage. Vocalist Haleh Gafori sang songs from their 2014 release, Pleasure Island, as percussionist Matt Kilmer provided the modern beats. Jason Tschantre projected strangely mesmerizing visuals (such as artichokes and space scenes) onto the screen behind them, adding immense eclectic energy to the show. Throughout the set, Gafori shrieked and cooed, flicking her dark tresses back and forth and stomping around the stage as Kilmer stayed cooly focused on controlling the rhythm with what looked like a Galaxy Tab and high-tech silver Simon. By the middle of The Mast’s set, the venue was completely packed with blissed-out dance enthusiasts thoroughly hypnotized by the primal beats and astral sound effects.
The room was heavy with suspense as the sweaty crowd waited for headliner MNDR, aka Amanda Warner, to set up her equipment. As Warner took her time plugging in the electronics, two identically dressed blondes in pigtails mysteriously lay face down on the stage floor, completely motionless for about 15 minutes. The moment MNDR began to sing, the crowd went berserk, all arms in the air, dancing bodies rolling towards the stage in determined waves. The twin girls (Sigrid and Monica of FlucT) leaped up from the floor and and performed wild, aerobic dance moves in perfect synchrony. Warner sang familiar tunes from her 2012 pop album, Feed Me Diamonds, as well as singles such as Fade to Black and Let Go. MNDR tenderly engaged with her audience, occasionally kneeling to hold a fan’s hand as she sang and letting the crowd sing the first part of Feed Me Diamonds. Near the end of her set, vocalist Steven Klavier joined her on stage (wearing a dope shirt featuring all of the Simpsons characters), hyping up the crowd even further. The combination of MNDR’s pulsing electro pop, trippy visual projections, dramatically talented stage dancers and guest performers in the relatively small venue merged to create an unforgettably exhilarating show. Warner announced that this night was “the first time this project has sold out,” a sure sign that these up-and-coming acts will continue to hook more fans with their magnetic appeal.
Photos by David Velásquez.