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Irving Plaza was filled to the brim with eager fans patiently waiting for their night of hip-pop on the first night of Aer’s two-day stint at the Union Square venue. In order to obtain a front row spot, a queue had begun to form outside the venue long before the doors opened, which was astonishing considering the arctic conditions. Once inside, fans could be seen waiting on the venue floor with a mask of determination, devising the best route to squeeze their way through the crowd to get to the front. Understandably so, as the first act on the bill was already able to solicit mass screaming from the audience.
California’s New Beat Fund opened their set with crowd pleaser Get Up, which would ultimately manifest in the crowd’s actions with nearly everyone jumping along with the band’s synchronized dancing. While their set seemed oh so short, their energy was able to make up for the lack of stage time. With their equipment donned in neon duct tape galore, NBF’s vibrant stage decor mirrored their performance fervor. Closing out their half-hour set with Scare Me, the band’s mascot, Ghosty, came onstage to play with the band. Who knew ghosts wore Vans?
RDGLDGRN (Red Gold Green) tried to turn Irving Plaza into a punk dive with Stranger. Making everyone in the audience crouch down, the venue was immediately confounded in a bass-dripping earthquake with everyone jumping as hard as the band onstage. Between chants and serenading fans celebrating their birthdays, RDGLDGRN’s set was packed with favorites like the Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams-featured track, Doing The Most.
Once rap-rock duo Aer took to the stage, the crowd was ready for these show-stoppers thanks to a quick warm-up from DJ Smiles. Running around the stage, climbing over the barricades and endless dancing were all included in the first five minutes of Aer’s performance. With these two guys onstage, audience members had to be diligent to keep up. From the energy of their tracks alone, then combined with the energies of this duo during a live performance, it was exhausting trying to keep up. Floats My Boat and Feel I Bring were two of the many crowd favorites, with the latter closing out the show to massive applause.
Photos by Nancy Hoang.