The Creature Carnival Brings An Unbelievable Spectacle to New York.
Last Thursday night, New York City’s Best Buy Theater played host to the wildest concert tour currently making its way around the country, The Creature Carnival. Headlined by the dazzling livetronica trio Beats Antique, this psychedelic sideshow is a celebration of the bizarre, outlandish and extraordinary. Hundreds of wide-eyed revelers rolled into the Midtown venue clad in all manner of whimsical garb, ready to embark on a musical escapade for the record books.
With an incredible cast of characters both on stage and off this spectacle felt like it was taking place under a big top tent at the circus instead of the chandelier adorned ceiling of a Time Square concert hall. Rising indie hip hop artist Lafa Taylor got the festivities going with his opening performance. Decked out an imaginative ring leader costume, Lafa not only got things off to an exciting start but he also infused his energy into the night’s proceedings as the perfect master of ceremonies.
Next up Emancipator proved why he was is one of the most well respected names in electronic music. Accompanied by violinist Ilya Goldberg, Emancipator let loose an bevy of spellbinding samples, tantalizing bass lines and soul satisfying melodies. Emancipator’s set was short but truly impressive. This was my first time seeing him for himself and I must say the craftsmanship that goes into every note of his music is truly inspired. The weight of each tune seemed to rest on top of the audience with a distinct sense of appreciation and emotion, setting the mood perfectly for a night that was as much about wanton frivolity as it was about musical appreciation.
Magician, wizard, genius; there are many titles you can give to Simon Posford a.k.a Shpongle but I think the most fitting is, technician. Indeed Shpongle is a technician and his medium is time and space itself. Throughout his set Simon enveloped the crowd in an aura that only he could produce. Shpongle’s mastery of sonic complexity is what draws crowds to his shows, but it’s his bewildering almost maniacal stage presence that captivates them. With the same ease it would take you or I to change our clothes, Shpongle is able to change the mood of an entire room full of people. Slipping in between fanciful dance numbers and mind-bending ballads Shpongle kept the crowd guessing and begging for more. Highlighting his set with classic tunes like “My Head Feels Like a Frisbee” and “Divine Moments of Truth”, Shponle delivered a classic show that definitely lived up to the hype.
With all the creatures thoroughly “Shpongled”, the carnival continued with an incredible showcase of local talent. Brooklyn’s own belly dancing ensemble Soulstice mesmerized the crowd with an astonishing routine that had everyone picking their jaws up off the floor, while fellow local artists Enchanted lived up to their name with a dizzying display of dexterity punctuated by fantastic costumes and choreography.
By the time Beats Antique, the night’s headliners, hit the stage the Best Buy Theater’s energy was burgeoning on critical mass. Keen to not be overshadowed by the night’s already incredible lineup, the decadent threesome of David Satori, Zoe Jakes and Tommy Cappel pulled out all the stops. Their set progressed like a magic carpet ride, spiriting the crowd away to vivid and exotic locations. As this was my first time experiencing Beats Antique live, I was thoroughly blown away. I believe it is safe to say that there is no other artist in electronic music with a live show as immersive and theatrical as Beats Antique. With a colorful cast of characters, intricate costumes, scene changes and of course blissful instrumentation, Beats Antique put on a show that was part burlesque show, part Broadway play with a dash of dubstep to go along with an inflatable octopus.
The Creature Carnival lived up to and then exceeded all expectations and completely stole Halloween’s thunder if you ask me. This crazy train ride is surely one of the best fall tours you can go to right now and luckily it is isn’t winding down just yet. Check out the rest of the available dates for the Creature Carnival below and don’t miss out on the show that everybody will be talking about for quite a while.