story + pics / Danielle Reuther
I don’t necessarily think of Blood Orange’s music when I think about the prohibition era, but nevertheless, there I was watching Devonté “Dev” Hynes and his band rock out at a party celebrating Cutty Sark’s new Prohibition Era whisky. I suppose the party was more of modern take on what prohibition would be like if enacted today, complete with flowing whisky, boxers, Crif Dogs, photographs by Tod Seelie on display, and a special zine put together by 8-Ball Zines. But when Blood Orange took the stage, everything else seemed to fade away.
A little backstory, this is not my first time seeing Dev Hynes’ latest musical endeavor. In fact, I was at his first show with his current Blood Orange lineup at the Alife Rivington Club, as well as the show at American Two Shot, but this had a decidedly different feel to it.
It is not hard to notice that the band (which includes Dev’s girlfriend and former Friends singer Samantha Urbani, as well as Ben Morseberger from another of my favorite New York bands, Cable) has had time to perfect their set with recent sold out performances in London and New York. This is not to say that those early shows lacked any sort of quality, but catered to a much smaller, intimate audience. This time, Hynes and others were most definitely playing to the larger crowd.
Another difference in this show came in the set list; all the songs performed came from Blood Orange’s 2013 album Cupid Deluxe, with the exception of “Bad Girls,” a personal favorite, which Solange also covered on her Hynes produced album True.
Other highlights includes a rousing musical breakdown during Uncle Ace that really showed how talented not only Hynes, but all of the musicians on stage, really are. Hynes also invited up and coming vocalist Alan Michael on stage to sing “Always Let U Down,” calling him “The future of the music industry.” Finally, my stand out favorite moment came during “Time Will Tell,” when Hynes and Urbani reprised portions of “Chamakay,” and “You’re Not Good Enough,” in a song that already recalls the memorable “Come in to my bedroom…” lyrics from “Champagne Coast,” a single from his first album Coastal Grooves.
The show showcased Hynes’ stellar vocals, serious guitar chops, and dancing skills, as he moved and grooved in a style not so unlike his hero Michael Jackson. Speaking of Jackson, singer Alan Michael gave Hynes his very own MJ red leather “Thriller” jacket, which he put on at the end of the show, eliciting a few riffs from “Beat It” by the band, which, unfortunately, were not fulfilled with an encore cover. There’s always next time (A girl can dream, right?).
MORE PICTURES HERE.