Every artist that performs on a stage has a symbiotic relationship with the audience. DJs always say they feel out the energy of the crowd and adjust their song choice accordingly, MCs obviously need to move the attendees, and pop stars often need a lot of love heaped upon them onstage.
Last night, Spin held it’s year end party at the Music Hall of Williamsburg with Charli XCX, Superchunk, and Danny Brown, and each artist moved a different segment of the crowd. Comedian/TV writer Hannibal Buress hosted the gig and as the venue began to fill up a little after 8 P.M., the much-loved Roofeo hopped on the wheels of steel to play some DJ Mustard tunes with a dash of East Coast rap. When Hannibal hit the stage, he immediately recognized that the VIP balcony section was more packed than the downstairs general admission area. “One of those events, huh,” he quipped.
The laid-back Buress did a brief set commenting on a Gucci Mane concert he’d seen where Guwop had actually played songs from other artists over the speakers. Burress did his version—playing Chris Rock audio—before him and Roofeo had a little back and forth, and then it was time for live music.
Charli XCX was first up, flaunting a get-up of sunglasses, a pink jacket, and white miniskirt. “You’ve gotta give me more than that,” she demanded as she hit the stage and asked New York how we were doing. “I’m wearing fucking latex right now.” Then she jumped into songs like “Nuclear Seasons” and “Black Roses” from her latest album, True Romance. She thrashed her head, letting her long black hair whip the sides of her face as she bounced around the stage like a teenager in her bedroom. The women of the crowd were loving her, singing along and dancing in response to Charli’s energy. The guys seemed to be enjoying it enough.
She performed Icona Pop’s “I Don’t Care,” which she co-wrote, before finishing with one last song and then clearing the stage for Superchunk, a indie rock outfit that was a little more dated than the rest of the acts.
“We’re a little older, let’s admit it,” said frontman Mac McCaughan, and it showed as they blazed through a raging setlist that now found only older dudes and slightly younger ones pumping their fists, jumping up and down and screaming the lyrics. This time it was the ladies who enjoyed watching enough to dance along, too.
With the crowd high on the hype of the aggressive rock music, Superchunk departed and made way for the inimitable chip-toothed Danny Brown. The Detroit rapper has never been shy about being a fan of Young Thug, and last night it was clear: He and his DJ SKYWLKR walked out to “Danny Glover,” as Danny wandered around the stage to let the song play for a minute. Then he launched right into “Molly Ringwald,” and this time there was no sexual divide: everyone was moving. He went on to perform songs solely from the second (more electronic) side of his fantastic new album Old, as well as one cut from XXX, before he shook the building with “Kush Coma.” He finished, appropriately, with the last song on Old, “Float On,” which features Charli XCX singing on the hook.
Out of a female pop star, an indie rock band, and a rapper, it ended up being pretty weird but totally delightful to see Danny Brown unite the room in pandemonium. —Max Weinstein