When I sat down and spoke with Mount Kimbie about a month ago, I asked them how they would perform their live shows after releasing their ambitious new album, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth. They said they would stick to their old stuff until they got used to playing their new songs live. “What’s exciting for us is trying out the new stuff that we aren’t so comfortable with,” explained Kai Campos. That excitement was palpable last night as we were treated to both old and new tracks at a jam-packed Bowery Ballroom filled with 20-somethings embracing the summer heat. Luckily, Mount Kimbie gave us a scorching show.
The duo started off the night remixing their song “Carbonated,” easily my favorite off their debut album, Crooks And Lovers. The remix started off with refined synths that completely changed the tune of the song, but when the drop came, the crowd exploded and instantly knew what they were jamming to. It got everyone out of the mellow mode that Holy Other left us in and instantly transformed the evening. “We’ve been wanting to get back to New York for some time now,” said Kai at one point. “You guys are always awesome!”
Clearly feeling a little nostalgic, the pair took us back all the way to 2009, with their song “Maybes.” They then swiftly transitioned into some of their new stuff, starting off with the first song on Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, “Home Recording.” This was Kai’s first stab at singing live that evening, and he did not disappoint. He grabbed his guitar emphatically and let go as Dominic jammed on his Tempest drum machine. His vocals were evocative, captivating and clear, sounding exactly like they do on the album. Even more experimental tracks were given vivid interpretations: The euphoric sound of “Break Well” left me feeling like I was floating, so I closed my eyes and took it all in—and just like on the album, it was finished before I knew it.
“Where is Archy?” a fans screamed during the set, referring to 19-year-old redhead and Cold Spring guest vocalist King Krule, who was sadly not in attendance last night, and his presence was apparently missed by a row of girls in the front. But, Mount Kimbie didn’t really need any help; they’ve evidently mastered playing their tunes live. They closed out the night with the closest thing they have to a club banger, “Made To Stray.” Fans tried to sing along with Kai during the chorus, but they really only knew the “made to stray” line. While the crowd members were not on point, Mount Kimbie was exactly the opposite.