All photos by Jason Bergman for JellyNYC
You know a show has a good lineup when in the weeks leading up to the event almost everyone in the city is buzzing about going to see one of the bands or another. Plans are made about when to arrive at the destination, McCarren Pool Park, an old defunct waterhole in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, aka the heart of the hipster homeland. If only mother nature had payed attention to all of our carefully laid plans. Under darkening skies, friends arrived to meet friends who had staked a claim in the line that snaked its way down thirteen streets filled with the well dressed (sporting the latest fashion and colored sunglasses), the young (trendy music loving mamas and papas toting their young tots on their hips despite the crashing lightening overhead), and the prepared (decked out with tables, chairs and coolers full of beers and booze). I overheard that some people turned up as early as 10:30 AM even though doors didn’t open until 2 PM.
When the opening hour finally commenced and the skills of KEXP DJ John Richards began to warm up the crowd, Mother Nature decided that was her cue to unleash her wrath upon the concert goers. It proceed to pour for the next two hours, with thunder crashing and lightening ablaze. But there was no calling off this event -- this is Brooklyn, we can handle anything!
The Ting Tings are the latest in the line of English darlings to visit the U.S. and gain the attention and affection of the music community, selling out their previous NYC shows in a matter of days. After their first song, it was easy to understand why. Vocalist, guitarist and bass drummer Kate White was aglow with British confidence and class. Her bright white hair blew in the wind as she graced the stage and sang as if she were in the safest elements in the world. Percussionist Jules De Martino enjoyed the experience while smashing drums and adding vocals and guitar, dancing around and ignoring the drenched and uncomfortable crowd crouched below the stage. Showing just what New Yorkers are made of, girls danced in groups holding hands and jumping into puddles while boys with beards kept their Ray Bans carefully in place despite the lack of sun for miles around. Their hit single, “That’s Not My Name,” inspired a sing-along to compete against the thunder, but “Shut Up and Let Me Go” had to be my personal favorite.
By the time Black Moth Super Rainbow slid onto stage the winds had subsided and only a mere trickle of water was falling from the sky. Their smooth, groovy and electronic brand of Pittsburgh psychedelia folk-rock relaxed the audience allowing people to mingle and enjoy the scene. Although the lines still wrapped around the venue like a rubber band the party inside was just resting before the true storm, local delights MGMT. While band members Tobacco, The Seven Fields of Aphelion, Power Pill Fist, Iffernaut, and Father Hummingbird maneuvered their way through their ultra chill set, a palpably energy was building amongst the hipsters, wafting in waves surrounding the dodge ball court and among those brave enough to experience the slip n slide.
As John finished his last set, DJing from a booth set up on the left side of the stage, MGMT positioned themselves in front of the massive audience like rock stars from the 70′s with years of touring experience under their belt. It only took a little over a year for these musicians to master the swagger and strut of a band that is the darling of their record label, MTV and every iPod within the Tri-Borough area. Their hit tracks “Electric Feel,” “Kids,” and “Time to Pretend” were obvious crowd favorites and caused people to jump and scream when the first chords hit the wind. Chains of dancing friends clasping hands and weaved through the crowd as the set slowly came to an end. I think it would be safe to say that despite the long wait to get into the show and the poor weather, everyone gathered at McCarren Park Pool enjoyed themselves and had one heck of a good time. It was the perfect summertime concert to deliver exactly what New Yorkers are looking for, a good time to talk about for ages.
Next week at the JellyNYC Pool Parties, catch Black Lips, Deerhunter, King Kahn & His Shrines and Tall Firs, all for free at McCarren Park Pool.
Also, this Thursday (that’s tomorrow), Boost Mobile and JellyNYC present “The Secret Society Shows” featuring The Apples in Stereo, Earlimart and Poison Control Center at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple. Tickets are available here.