Tour Tales

CMJ 2012: Neon Gold Showcase Shines

CMJ 2012: Neon Gold Showcase Shines

Thursday, October 18 marked the arrival of the Neon Gold Showcase to Santos Party House. The venue, a two-floor, 8,000-square-foot music and event space, was the ideal fit for a showcase such as this, boasting two stages, as well as a killer sound system. The night of music started at sunset, and went on until nearly sunrise, alternating between both upstairs and downstairs sets, as well as bursts of DJ spinning.

Thursday, October 18 marked the arrival of the Neon Gold Showcase to Santos Party House. The venue, a two-floor, 8,000-square-foot music and event space, was the ideal fit for a showcase such as this, boasting two stages, as well as a killer sound system. The night of music started at sunset, and went on until nearly sunrise, alternating between both upstairs and downstairs sets, as well as bursts of DJ spinning.

One of the night’s first memorable performers was Gabriel Bruce. With a voice that sounded nearly identical to that of The National’s Matt Berninger, the Londoner utilized a MacBook Pro to provide a full-band accompaniment. Two cute chicks in fringe sang backup and did synchronized dance moves. It was amazing to find out that Bruce was only 23, because he had the presence and look of a far older, hard-partied musician. Something was lost in realizing that the live performance featured absolutely no real instruments; however, Bruce’s sound and vocals were captivating, and definitely moved the crowd to dance. The music had a really great rock-pop quality and beat.

Upstairs, Citizens! took to the stage, which sparked a large line outside to bring the in the crowd. The band announced that it was their first time in New York, as well as their first time in America, which, of course, got hands clapping. It was the group’s second show of the night, and they got us all jumping and singing along with tunes off of their debut album. Citizens! struck a high note with “Caroline,” a catchy, poppy song with a chorus of “Stop making sense/ We never made any sense.” 

Jinja Safari got the downstairs room dancing like crazy with an afro-pop indie styling. The Sydney natives’ live show was high-energy, and their upbeat manner was contagious. Rocking the sitar, bongos and keytar, these guys definitely left an impression on the CMJ attendees with a worldly sound. Each member took turns exchanging huge smiles and leaping around the stage spurring the audience to do the same. At the end of the set, a technical snafu left the band waiting for a quick fix, while the audience began to sing the song without any prompting or accompaniment – it was a really nice moment.

Santos Party House was filled to the brim by the time Strange Talk hit the upstairs stage. These Melbourne-based new wave/electropop rockers were old hats with Neon Gold, having released their self-titled EP through the label in 2011. Strange Talk’s sound was a bit like Passion Pit, and it made sense to find out that the group has supported The Rapture as well as Art Vs Science. They made for a good addition to the night, but their set was a bit more clinical and less exciting than the others.

The Neon Gold showcase was a fantastic addition to CMJ, and a really great way to check out a whole bunch of fabulous, talented, accented musicians. Santos nailed the role of gracious host, providing the ideal sound and setting for the guys to shine. 

Photos by Melodysiac © 2012

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victor

October 23rd, 2012

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