The Retrospective

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RetroTV: Major Noize at Terminal 5

April 9th, 2010 by

If you’ve been in LA at any point during the last three years, chances are you’ve heard about HARDfest. The city’s premiere party for some of the nastiest electro acts around, HARDfest has staged haunted Halloween mansions with the likes of Deadmau5 and Justice and brought heat to sweaty summer afternoons with all-out assaults from MSTRKRFT, Crookers, and Rusko. It was NYC’s turn this past Saturday: HARDfest partnered with The Bowery Presents to bring its signature blend of bass and blitz to Manhattan’s cavernous Terminal 5 with a lineup that included Russian noisemaker Proxy, dancehall upstarts Major Lazer and electro wunderkind Boys Noize.

Major Lazer at Terminal 5
Photo Credit: The Retrospective – Jennifer Macchiarelli

If the throngs of neon-spandexed, shutter-shaded, pacifier-sucking kids were any indication, New York is ready for the go-for-broke party attitude that defines its LA cousin. Wearing enough Forever 21 and American Apparel to outfit a small nation, the crowds that packed the first floor were ready for anything, and everybody knew it. Proxy filled the three floors with enough chest-rattling bass to warrant the use of earplugs, while the roller-coaster bassdrop of “Raven” sent the audience into paroxysms of fist-pumping delight. A mild-by-comparision set from the Portuguese kuduro group Buraka Som Sistema drove the crowd in a different direction. With two MCs rhyming over tracks like a sped-up reggae version of L-Vis 1990’s iconic “United Groove” and their own massive, M.I.A-starring “Sound of Kuduro,” the back-up dance support from two very buxom, very Carnival-bikinied dancers was all they needed to take the crowd over the top.

But leave it to Major Lazer to find a way to take it even further.

Major Lazer at Terminal 5
Photo Credit: The Retrospective – Jennifer Macchiarelli

With Diplo (minus Switch) manning the decks in a sharp-looking suit, psychotically energetic hype man Skerrit Bwoy lunging across the stage and an insanely ripped dancer gyrating in a camo bikini top and short shorts, were the two feathered and shimmying Chinese dragons really necessary? Without a doubt. Major Lazer is all about taking frantic dancehall rhythms past the point of sanity, and the crowd responded in kind with crowdsurfing, moshing and generally freaking out. The LED panel on the front of Diplo’s table played familiar images of cartoonish guns, lazers, angry-looking generals and chesty women while Skerrit Bwoy spit fire over the sticky sweet hook of “Hold the Line” and wielded a white towel like the titular lazer at the athletically sexy G.I. Jane dancer. Green laser lights highlighted sweaty, upturned faces as showgoers jumped, thrashed and danced to the expertly paced, hip-hop influenced island beats. Diplo brought the house down with the shrilly incessant “Pon de Floor,'” and Skerrit Bwoy attempted a re-creation of Eric Wareheim’s video, a trippy ode to daggering, by bringing girls onstage to bump, grind and soak in the crowd’s adoration. Sadly, the crowd may have been a bit too young to fully appreciate the glaringly white tones of Ace of Base’s “All That She Wants” but it was a welcome break that revealed Diplo’s sense of humor. Mimi closed out the show with an impressive spread-eagled headstand on Diplo’s table that alluded to years of practice.

Major Lazer at Terminal 5
Photo Credit: The Retrospective – Jennifer Macchiarelli

After Major Lazer’s theatrics, Boys Noize took the stage to the militaristic jackhammer of “Kontakt Me” and kept the pace with a stripped down set that included new tracks like “Jeffer,” classics like “&Down,” and the the kind of chest-thumping electro heard at parties from LA to Miami. With a backdrop reminiscent of the stark black and red cover imagery of his newest album, Power, Boys Noize proved that while he may not have a hype man, he really doesn’t need one.

See even more photos on our Flickr page

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  • 1 KLAX › Major Lazer Apr 10, 2010 at 1:26 am

    […] The Retrospective This was written by admin. Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010, at 11:26 pm. Filed under Music, Video. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Post a comment or leave a trackback. […]