Tag Archives: Newspeak

wiki show mookell review

Concert Review: Wiki

wiki show mookell reviewOn rue Saint Élisabeth and Saint Catherine, at roughly 11:45pm in the dimly lit atmosphere of Newspeak, two of my friends and I sat for an hour until the first openers for Wiki’s show came out. We waited to get there late since the event had said the show would start at 10:00pm. By 1:00am the first opener finally took the stage of the humid club and tried to hype the crowd for Wiki’s grand appearance. Quebec rap group Les Anticipateurs catered to part of the audience that spoke French but left everyone else confused as to what was going on. The production from the group was powerful and booming but was hard for me and my friends to understand since all the rapping was in French.

Half an hour later, DJ Lucas took the stage with some old and new tracks that he had been preparing to perform live on the tour. As much as the instrumentals were banging, it was difficult to enjoy DJ Lucas as a rapper. At the beginning of his set, a fight at the front of the crowd broke out and the MC had to stop performing for a while to break up the two men disputing amongst each other. After hours of waiting for the main act with two unpleasant openers, Wiki finally appeared on the stage at 2:05am.

Waiting for Wiki seemed like it wasn’t going to be worth it in the end. We were all exhausted for waiting so many hours and sitting through openers that we couldn’t care less about. However, when the New York based MC stepped onto the stage, there was an immediate turnaround in the amount of energy in the room. He opened up his set with the track “3 Stories,” which was produced by local electronic artist Kaytranada. The crowd was full of life and bouncing to the buttery beat of the song as Wiki slammed down some hard bars.

Security was uncomfortably rough at Newspeak; they wouldn’t allow anyone to mosh during the show. As soon as they spotted the slightest act of moshing, they’d grab people from the audience and tell them to stop immediately. It was a buzzkill to say the least; people weren’t able to enjoy themselves the way they wanted. One of the security guards pushed someone from the front of the crowd all the way to the back of the club and the two got into a fist fight. The fight attracted a small audience that was separated from Wiki’s performance with people arguing that the guy being held by security didn’t do anything wrong.

Wiki kept performing for those who were paying attention to his set. “God Bless Me” and “Crib Tax,” among many other cuts from Wiki’s debut LP Lil Me, were played at the show. By 2:45am the set was over and the audience was drenched in sweat. Even with a weirdly short set from the main act, it was still an incredible experience to see Wiki completely turn the tables on what started off as a rough night. I’m going to have my reservations with shows at Newspeak from now on, but if Wiki’s ever playing there again, I’ve learned that you should show up a lot later than you would think.

Review by Michael Eidelson

Updated on November 7, 2016, we apologize for any inconveniences caused by the initial write up for the show!

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 9.50.26 AM

Concert Review: SOPHIE @ Newspeak

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 9.50.26 AM

A clamour of high pitched bells ring throughout the club, conversations quiet down to whispers and heads turn to the stage lit up by a dazzling tubular ceiling display. A filter sweep brings the buzz to a close, and as the last echoes ring out the club is left in a tense state of anticipation…

Warm vibrations flood the dance floor, the trance is ruptured and screams of glee break out. “We were young and out of control,” sing the still young and yet to be out of control crowd, the opening words of Sophie’s melancholic and nostalgia-inducing Just Like We Never Said Goodbye. The song is played out in full. Originally serving to close out Sophie’s debut album Product, it left the listener aching to relive memories that were never allowed to materialize. Tonight, those memories are about to be made.

The crowd chant “SOPHIE” in adoration with a soft French intonation, their calls are answered and immediately they’re dropped into a Jersey club hype track. The clubbers are more than happy to settle into a skank, but before anyone gets comfortable the pressure builds and out of nowhere Trophy rips through the dance floor and turns Newspeak upside down. A hostile Charli XCX blasts through the speakers, she’s combative threatening; “bitch I’m here to fuck you up” and there’s nowhere to turn. The scenes are chaotic, while punters will have been familiar with the tune, no one could have fathomed its impact on the club. The dancing quickly becomes erratic as revellers attempt to keep up with the twists and turns of the track. People are crashing into each other, drinks are spilt, partners switched and bodies inevitably hit the floor. Sophie is detached from all this, so sternly focussed on his performance one could easily mistake his constraint for apathy.

When dealing with such abrasive and irregular electronica the mixing can take a hit: DJ’s tend to either echo-out and hope the cued intro picks up the slack or smash the tracks together, and in the mess of the noise fade one out. Sophie does neither, instead he molds one song into the next, crushing Trophy’s heavy basslines into the infamous screech of L.O.V.E. to the delight of everyone present. This transition and those that were to follow are well thought out, dutifully practiced and creatively executed. Consequently, the energy and intensity of the set hold firm through the night.

The stellar Vyzee marks the come up for the next climax, a cacophony of plastic sounds with insanely addictive lyrics enticing the crowd to “go crazy in the pop”. Those familiar with Sophie’s Boiler Room knew what was about to occur; hearing Lemonade at home is one thing, hearing it on the McDonalds advert is another, but experiencing it live is just something else. What’s quite extraordinary about this underground anthem is that it’s actually his second most successful song about a sugary drink (see: Hey QT). In fact seeing Sophie is a lot like drinking a cold Coke on a hot summer’s day: it tastes amazing, but before you know it you’ve only got one last good sip left. Luckily that last sip is always the best.

The final act is a dizzying cocktail of Sophie’s different stylistic approaches. The club is treated to a criminally unreleased remix of GFOTY’s Friday Night, a staple of his sets and a downright nasty display of electronic minimalism. Vroom Vroom soon follows and XCX takes the clubbers on another raucous joyride, everyone euphoric to have her back. The bubbly Nothing More to Say then fizzes into the room, and, eyes glazed and grins wide, the crowd is left relishing the sugar-laced melody as Sophie quietly slips out. They never did get to say goodbye.

Review by Vicente Orts