Luke the Knife & Beard-o-Bees Host Killer Lotus After Party in Brooklyn
Walking across the street from Brooklyn Bowl to the Panther Room this past Thursday morning just after midnight after three nights straight of Lotus, I wasn’t quite sure I’d make it through an After Party. But I hadn’t seen Luke or Jesse Miller take on their alter egos Luke the Knife and Beard-o-Bees in nearly eight months, so I owed it to them as well as myself to get out there and give it the ol’ college try.
I should confess something that this point. I’m usually too tired make it through the late-night After Party show. At the very least, you will probably see me sitting at some point, particularly towards the end of said show. This is precisely the method that allowed me to survive Luke the Knife’s debut on the East Coast, back in January 2013 at B.B. King’s in Times Square. I thus reasonably feared that my college try might end in failure.
But alas! I failed not– thanks to a pair of high energy performances, along with good company and a venue that was swanky beyond words. Unfortunately, there is a strict no-photography policy at both the Output (within which the Panther Room sits) as well as the Panther Room itself, so words will have to do. The sexy retro décor harkens back to the late 50s and early 60s with perhaps a little sprinkle of 70s; in pop culture terms, think “Mad Men” with a little disco treatment. A large and cozy fireplace in the corner lined with padded dark leather-like booth-style bench seating abuts a long and classy bar featuring upscale drink specials like blood orange Margaritas and their own spin on the Old Fashioned, and the walls are lined with half-cylinder wall sconces cut with simple and narrow metal bars running vertically across the light. A spinning chandelier of twelve disco balls of varying sizes hangs from the ceiling above the small dance floor, in front of which the performers are partially hidden from view behind a counter of sorts. The atmosphere created is one of dark and seductive mystery, and proved a perfect complement to both sets of music that evening.
Jesse Miller’s Beard-o-Bees got the crowd going first with a dark set that became increasingly instrumental and even a little funky towards the end. Jesse read the crowd with ease and successfully tailored his set to fit the mood of the room. The most impressive part of the entire set came at the very end. At that point, Jesse had taken his set to funky town, and this allowed for a seamless transition into his brother’s Luke the Knife set with its characteristic indie disco funk. And I mean seamless in the most literal sense: I spoke with not one person who could tell when Beard-o-Bees left the controls and Luke the Knife took over. Bravo, boys.
Luke read the crowd equally well and put his disco spin on music across era and genre, from alt-rock and indie to R&B, funk, and classic rock, reaching back as far as the 1970s, remixing Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, the Talking Heads, Will Smith, Chance the Rapper, and Daft Punk. You could definitely tell who were children of the 90s once Luke began his “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” re-rub, and hilarity ensued on the dance floor with people singing along and throwing down some seriously old-school dance moves. Lotus’ Production Manager Padge McQuillan and Tour Manager Sean Garahan showed the crowd what “getting down” is all about with some of the highest-energy boogying of the night (or, early morning, if you want to get technical!). It’s always great to see Team Lotus enjoying themselves after a night (or, in this case, multiple nights) of hard work, and they brought much-appreciated smiles to the face of this Sensible Reason contributor throughout the night.
All in all, the late-night show proved a great success, and arguably the best performance I’ve seen by either of the two musicians in their solo projects. Keep your eyes open for future appearances by Beard-o-Bees and Luke the Knife: So far, Luke the Knife will appear at Euphoria Music Festival this weekend in Austin, Texas as well as at Electric Forest in Michigan in June. Check out the Beard-o-Bees and Luke the Knife Facebook pages for up-to-date tour schedules.