The NYU Program Board welcomed back students with the annual Mystery Concert at (Le) Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, Sept. 6. The concert, headlined by guests Palm, Noname and Dave East, boasted a massive attendance, with the line-to-enter snaking around the block.
The first band, Palm, is an experimental rock band from Philadelphia,\ and consists of vocalists and guitarists Eve Alpert and Kasra Kurt, bass player Gerasimos Livitsanos and drummer Hugo Stanley. Interestingly, not one member of the band is trained in his or her respective instruments and their playing style is highly unconventional.
As Palm began to play, parts of the audience were startled by the ethereal, almost-alien vocals and heavily guitar-focused music. “Walkie Talkie,” a song from their new album “Shadow Expert,” began picking up steam, with pockets of the crowd cheering profusely as they grew accustomed to Palm’s experimental aesthetic.
A few minutes after Palm finished their set, Noname sauntered onto the stage, nursing a pale drink. Originally a slam poet from Chicago, Noname rose to fame after Chance the Rapper featured her on his sophomore mixtape, “Acid Rap.” Her first mixtape was released only last year, but Noname has already collaborated with industry giants like Smino, Xavier Omar, Jeremih and J. Cole. Although she is new to the music scene, her cult following points to her longevity as an artist.
The crowd, especially a few die-hard fans in the center, cheered upon her arrival to the stage. Noname began her set with “Sunny Duet” from her mixtape “Telephone” and, although feeble at first, rapidly picked up the pace. She changed her set around and ended with crowd pleaser “Shadow Man,” before thanking the audience and apologizing for drinking a little too much to remember the previous song.
Dave Brewster Jr., more commonly known as Dave East, closed the show. Last year, East was part of XXL Magazine’s freshman class and subsequently signed to Def Jam Records. The Mystery Concert was hometown glory for this local rapper, who was born and raised in Harlem. He filled the stage with at least 15 members of his squad who videotaped and took photos of him with the audience as they put three fingers in the air. Opening with “Phone Jumpin” from the album “Paranoia: A True Story”, the crowd was at its peak. He played popular songs from his new album like “Maneuver,” “Paranoia” as well as the chart-topping single “Perfect.” During “Perfect,” East asked all the single women to raise their hands and even pulled a girl onstage to dance. The front row went wild when he came close to the edge of the stage and held a lucky girl’s hand, grinning and swinging his diamond magic 8-ball chain.
The room was packed all the way until the last song and as everyone filed out, Noname stood outside to take pictures with a few lucky fans. As the rain greeted those exiting the venue, people took advantage of the free ponchos they received upon entry, and headed home from a concert brimming with talent.
Email Maya Ranganathan at [email protected]