We picked up our music wristbands and after much deliberation headed to Mohawk for the Pitchfork Interactive Showcase. Badges had priority, then wristbands. It was supposedly open to the public, though there was no evidence of a non-badge or wristband holder in sight. By 10:00 pm, there were more than 50 non-badge holders lined up outside with no hope.
Night Beds opened the show indoors. I had never heard this band and I was blown away by the lead singer’s voice. They played several of their own songs and a Mac DeMarco cover. The crowd was huge for the indoor opener, and I had to squeeze in and see this band.
Listen to: “Ramona”
After Night Beds, I headed to the outdoor stage to stake a spot for the later acts. IO ECHO was about to take the stage and set up a fog machine, screens on either side of the stage and a big paper fan in front of the drums. The lead singer stepped on stage in a kimono and cut off shorts. The band had an intriguing stage presence, but it was a mistake to be third row from the stage. It was the second loudest show of the night.
Listen to: “Shangai Girls”
The band was just three people: a drummer, bass player and guitarist/singer Marnie Stern. She tapped her guitar and also used pre-recorded loops occasionally. I can guarantee her music is not for every one, it is rough around the edges, as any punk influenced music should be I guess. But she is a badass chick and fun to watch.
Listen to: “For Ash”
This band was the coolest looking of the night and also my favorite set. The lead singer is totally androgynous with bright blond hair, the keyboardist had on sunglasses at 10:30 p.m. and the bassist worked very hard to keep all of his hair in front of his face. The band was energizing and perfect for hipster kid head bopping.
Listen to: “Human”
Cloud Nothings was the loudest set of the night. They didn’t seem to stop between songs. Then from out of nowhere we were shoved into the stage by a crazy mosh pit that didn’t end for the rest of the set. I can't remember anything else about this set or their music as I was trying to survive the moshing.
Listen to: “Hey Cool Kid”
The surprise guest of the night was Local Natives. After playing a show across the street at Stubbs for the Interactive closing party, the band came over to Mohawk at 12:30 a.m. It appeared much of the crowd had waited for this moment with anticipation. After a painfully long sound check, they started their set. It was worth the wait. Their records are much softer than their live show. When they closed with “Sun Hands,” it sounded like the whole audience was singing along.
Listen to: “Who Knows Who Cares”
Brazilian hip hop artist Emicida's show last night at The Whiskey Room was definitely not one to miss. He is well known for his incredible lyricism and smooth beats. Growing up in the northern part of São Paulo Emicida became prodigious for his ability to rhyme in underground freestyle battles. In recent years the rapper has gained a great amount of notoriety in the hip hop world in Brazil and internationally. His unique style not only resonates through his music but also through his DIY approach to distribution and exposure as an entirely self-distributed artist. If you want to skip out on ridiculous lines and experience very high quality music, Emicida and his band play again tonight at Meduse Lounge at 10:45. Highly encouraged.
Listen to: "Triunfo"