Flying Lotus + Mystery Concert Catalyzes Dancing, Partying at NYU

Gang Gang Dance play the Mystery Concert. Photo by Isaac Green.

Remember when Das Racist performed at NYU last spring, and the audience felt a little comatose? Well, that was not the case last night at the Program Board’s Mystery Concert. Artists Flying Lotus, Gang Gang Dance, and Light Asylum got our school to party, a feat some might consider colossal.

The show started early in the dimly-lit basement of Le Poisson Rouge as Light Asylum channeled some Joy Division vibes into their short set. Overheard included “This is too 80’s for my taste” and “that singer is fucking badass.” While the audience was just getting comfortable during the opener, no one seemed to be dancing, aside from a few students who obviously pre-gammed hard. Still, Light Asylum sounded tight and repped Brooklyn in gusto, giving the borough a few shout-outs.

The audience nearly doubled in size by the time Gang Gang Dance mobbed the stage, equipped with two projectors spewing dinosaurs, fractals, and other drugged-out imagery. The band got the audience hyped as they played fan-favorites “House Jam,” “Glass Jar,” and “Mind Killa” as well as other cuts from last spring’s Eye Contact.

The highlight of their performance was not the previously released songs, but rather the instrumental jams that surged into the stratosphere as NYU’ers crowd-surfed and even moshed a little. GGD’s graphic artists and supposed “vibes manager” Taka Imamura even had a flag stolen by the fun-spirited crowd. Even when one projector stopped working, the ensemble kept things interesting with drum bashing, loops, and a sweaty hug from singer Lizzi Bougatsos to someone in the front row. NYU embraced the band’s weirdness as the room got warmed up for the headliner.

If Gang Gang Dance was the massage, then Flying Lotus was the happy ending of the night. The whole venue was packed with students when FlyLo sauntered on stage just short of nine o’clock. The audience went nuts as the producer asked the crowd if their answer (to no question in particular) was “yes” or “no.” Students were in the mood to flail their arms aimlessly and pretend that last night was still part of Electric Zoo as Flying Lotus started his long DJ set.

Personally, I thought the set would have been cooler if he had his live band (including the virtuoso bass player ThunderCat), but the audience didn’t seem to mind as they grinded, juked, bounced, dougied and whatnot to the fat beats. The musician played cuts off of Cosmogramma like “Zodiac Shit” and “Computer Face // Pure Being” as well as morphing songs by Kanye West and Wu-Tang Clan into even more party-friendly compositions. FlyLo even added funny banter when students tried to climb on stage, saying that “it would cost extra” to dance next to him. Big thanks to Program Board for organizing this event. Everyone will be waiting with bated breath to see what unique line-up will play the Valentine’s Day show.

Photos by Julia Berke and Isaac Green.

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