The Knocks and Blu DeTiger bring the best of New York to New England

Blu DeTiger at The Sinclair. Photo by Hayley Slusser for WRBB.

The Knocks and Blu DeTiger
featuring Young & Sick

February 21, 2019 at The Sinclair

The artists held a self-described “houseparty” inside The Sinclair, giving Bostonians a taste of New York’s nightlife.

When the Knocks brought Blu DeTiger to Cambridge, they also brought the energy of New York City with them. The artists held a self-described “houseparty” inside The Sinclair, giving Bostonians a taste of New York’s nightlife.

The night began with DeTiger’s solo set, highlighted not only by her skills on the turntable, but her ability to highlight each track with improvised basslines. Working at nightclubs all over New York, she has gained notoriety around the city for her innovative approach to electronic music.

JPatt and Young & Sick at The Sinclair. Photo by Hayley Slusser for WRBB.

DeTiger started her set with “In My Head,” a song that lyrically describes her creative outlook and sonically provides groovy beats. Although she sings “the only thing that’s crazy is this beat that’s in my head,” the audience proved otherwise, as the bustling dance floor went wild within minutes of DeTiger taking the stage. Disco, funk and pop elements are all found in DeTiger’s work, which she fuses together to create the quintessential dance tracks. These genres were heard in her performance of “Mad Love,” a new single set to release March 13.

DeTiger not only played original music, but also featured classic tracks that the audience could sing along to. The crowd belted the lyrics to Fergie’s “Glamorous” as DeTiger focused intently on her turntable. She also featured Ginuwine’s sultry R&B anthem “Pony,” allowing her to fully showcase her creativity with a guitar solo. I was impressed watching her bright blue nails slide effortlessly down her matching cobalt guitar. The notes she plucked complemented the backing track perfectly, despite being completely improvised. At the end of the set, DeTiger proved herself not only as a competent DJ and bassist, but  as an inventive artist who is revolutionizing electronic music.

Shortly after DeTiger’s set, New York based artist Nick van Hofwegen, otherwise known as Young & Sick, took the stage. Accompanied only by a drummer he referred to as “Steve,” van Hofwegen  easily captured the audience’s attention with his long blue hair and glimmering jewelry. I was unfamiliar with his work, and the audience seemed to be in the same boat. He finished with a cover of “No Tears Left To Cry” by Ariana Grande, winning the crowd’s hearts.

Blu DeTiger and JPatt at The Sinclair. Photo by Hayley Slusser for WRBB.

After Young & Sick’s performance, the Knocks made their way on stage. The duo consists of Ben “B-Roc” Ruttner and James “JPatt” Patterson, touring with DeTiger on bass, Katie Lee on guitar, and Nick Brown on drums. The band is touring to promote their new album, “New York Narcotic.” With the title track describing an addiction to the city, it’s no surprise that the show was filled with references to New York. Custom-made Knicks jerseys, “I heart NY” apparel, and giant inflatable pigeons all made appearances on stage.

Having similar roots in the New York DJ scene, DeTiger fit in perfectly with the Knocks. Her confidence matched that of the duo during songs like “Shades,” which is about being a self-described “rockstar.” Whipping her long blonde hair boldly, DeTiger moved around the stage, jamming with the rest of the group as if they’ve played together forever. It was hard for me to believe that she was simply a guest on tour, as she clearly put her heart into each track as if it was her own.

The entire band strived to put their appreciation for New York into each song. With tracks like “Brazilian Soul” paying tribute to New York’s multiculturalism, or “Wizard of Bushwick” celebrating DJs in Brooklyn, the Knocks had me falling in love with New York all over again. Even if the audience didn’t catch the significance of their lyrics, the music itself conveyed the spirit of the city. As long as the bass kept pumping through the speakers, the New York houseparty lived on in the heart of New England.  

Photos by Hayley Slusser

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