Text: Zara Wladawsky
Photography: Alfonso Chavez-Lujan
Click on any of the photos below to launch the gallery.
The converted Williamsburg warehouse that houses Glasslands was packed to the gills last Tuesday, and with very good reason as Le1f, Mykki Blanco, and Laurel Halo were playing alongside an equally stellar lineup of local DJs and RBMA participants. Due to scheduling and capacity issues, we spent most of Le1f’s set outside within earshot, but the energy from the stage was more than enough to captivate us even from the other side of the door.
Once inside, we are treated to Mykki Blanco, who is truly the definition of the consummate performer. She works the crowd with minimal effort and commands attention from even the furthest reaches of the room as she draws from the irresistible theatrics of David Bowie and Marilyn Manson. Everyone sways and sings along to a set of upcoming EP tracks, improvised poetry, and her singles, culminating in a devastating rendition of Wavvy. It’s not often that reality ends up exceeding hype, but seeing Mykki live surpasses all expectation by leaps and bounds.
Laurel’s set is a stark contrast to the evening’s previous acts, as she trades extroverted showmanship for an hour of introspective complexity. Disjointed melodies, defined bass, and complex rhythms ebb and flow in undulating patterns and circles, creating a trance-like state. It’s only Throw, with its detuned piano chords, and the warm pads of closer Sunlight On The Faded (Dub) that temporarily jar me back into reality with musical recognition. Leaving Glasslands is a surreal experience as the overall effects of the audio-visual aspects of these wildly different artists slam together in an emotional cacophony. Well done on another great show, RBMA.