Words by Arye Dworken
The amped, bass-heavy beats of TNGHT rolled through town Wednesday night for what was supposed to be the second of two consecutive dates at New York’s Webster Hall. (The Tuesday show was cancelled, either due to a lack of tickets sales or the simple fact that the guys needed some rest in between their cross-country Coachella flights.)
Here’s what we know by now: When Lunice and HudMo lock into a groove like a bull rider at a rodeo, it’s thrilling. But unlike the duo’s floor-quaking set in Brooklyn last fall–and Lunice’s incredible set at SXSW–their Webster Hall performance suffered from the venue’s usual pitfalls, including lax decibel levels and a crowd that’s a bit too bro-down for our tastes. Which certainly doesn’t help when all TNGHT has to fall back on are laptops and a bunch of knobs.
At any rate, here’s what stood out about Wednesday’s show from a TNGHT first-timer…
1. Lunice drinks vodka straight from the bottle. Although at the rate he was drinking it, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was in fact water in a glass bottle. Look, dude’s skinny and seems like a lightweight. Ain’t no way he was handling those chugs.
2. TNGHT likes to go on stage more like TMRW. The duo was scheduled to perform at 10:30 but sashayed on stage at about 11:20.
3. Oddly enough, for an electronic act known for its low-end lashings, the set started out with 10 minutes of mood-manipulating ambient music. It wasn’t until the third track that the crowd finally felt compelled to jump. Which felt like two tracks too long.
4. Granted, this is still a relatively new collaboration–a side project that’s turned into more of a full-time thing, really–but even we were surprised by the pairs sometimes jarring segues. Intermittently, throughout the set, there were even hard and awkward stops between tracks with milliseconds of silence.
5. There was a young lady standing behind them the whole time, taking photos and/or video on her smartphone. She looked pretty blase about it, too. This kind of sucked out the energy. Get into it, girl. Or Instagram the set from the side of the stage.
6. Lunice does his best to amp up the crowd by mouthing along with the occasional rap lyric, raising his arms in the air like there was a low roof close by, or pogoing across the stage high-fiving the crowd. It’s a nice gesture, but then it leaves HudMo all by his lonesome, lost in his laptop like a lab worker.
7. Aside from their slow start, TNGHT played exactly what the audience expected, sticking to their own productions and tried-and-true tracks like their slamming remix of Kanye’s “Cold” single.
9. There’s probably a reason the Village Voice only took one photo of TNGHT, opting to devote their coverage to the crowd itself.
10. Is TNGHT an exceptional studio act? Undoubtedly. Is it an inspiring live act? UNCLR, PSSBLY, NT SRE, WLL SEE, NT WHN THY R PLYNG WBSTR HLL. We love that EP, though.