There are but a few reasons in my New York life to venture to midtown Manhattan, but last night I made the effort to go check out A-Trak, A$AP Rocky and Pusha T at Best Buy Theater. Though, like any rational human, I find Times Square's distracting oversaturation to be a symptomatic of a vast cultural void, my inner DJ-geek got the better of me.
Thankfully, A-Trak went to work last night. The multiple screens around Best Buy made for easy viewing of his legendary talent on the turntables. As a fan, it was a pleasure to experience. He wasn't playing requisite EDM tracks and bangers. He mixed, scratched and ultimately demonstrated that DJing takes actual skill.
The adolescent crowd responded amiably, but weren't as into it as I was. I will always admire A-Trak for showing Kanye the way, wearing a fedora religiously and consistently throwing down on the decks in multiple genres. Even at the mundane Best Buy Theater, on a sparse stage, A-Trak is a performer that's immediately engaging. But this audience was there for A$AP.
My go-to A$AP Mob live review has been the same in the past few years: Better than Odd Future.
A$AP Mob treats stage shows like a team sport. Everyone on stage gets a moment in the spotlight – either on the mic or rocking some half-baked dance move. The performance is not only Rocky & co.'s songs, but also the well-planned skinny jean style of the crew. And last night, what turned into the best part of the whole show was something of a surprise: a booty shaking contest. Painfully good to watch, it was also legitimately brutal, including audience booing and girls getting desperate to the point of undressing onstage.
Best Tweet about the show: @citizen_insane "Whitest, safest crowd ever"