In support of his recently released second album, Cupid Deluxe, artist/producer/jack of all trades Devonté Hynes, aka Blood Orange, hosted an album release party last Friday night at 285 Kent in Brooklyn. The evening began with an opening performance by local rapper Le1f, whose deft set left the crowd jittery with anticipation for the main event.
Hynes appeared on stage shortly after, looking visibly discordant against the grimy, disheveled venue space. Accompanied by vocalist Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, Blood Orange segued into Chamakay, the start of a set list that would include the entire new record in sequence. Soul-savvy Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors joined Dev on stage for No Right Thing, as well as Samantha Urbani of Friends who graced several songs as a back-up vocalist.
Hynes performed with a sophisticated, seductive swagger buttressed by a ferocious energy that was hardly contained by the dense warehouse space. He explored variant and disparate sounds through an indie rock state of mind. His live band gave new lifeblood to the polished sheen found on Cupid Deluxe, as they were prone to explosive, funk-beguiled digressions that called to mind R&B legends like Marvin Gaye and Prince. The sold out show reached a new, unanticipated level of hype with Hynes on lead guitar, boisterous melodies ushering from his frantic fingertips. He closed the show with a hollowed-out, solo rendition of Time Will Tell, as his backing band and the entranced audience watched in airy silence.
Photos by Angel Eugenio Fraden.