Black Kids with Pop Glow at the Vagabond, July 2
|Photo by Ian Witlen|
With Pop Glow
The Vagabond, Miami
Friday, July 2, 2010
Better than: Dancing in your underwear a 'la Tom Cruise in Risky Business -- hey, we know you've all done it.
The first room at the Vagabond was shockingly packed when we arrived a little after 10:30 p.m., no doubt with people who rushed to make sure they could get tickets at the door. Some people in line were just there to go to what they thought was a standard Fridays at the Vagabond night and had no idea what was going on -- boy, were they in for a surprise.
The side room opened up just a short while later, and the crowd instantly dispersed as if there were free drink giveaways or something. Lined up along the first row in front of the stage were a big group of girls clad in neon. We weren't really sure why some under agers in the crowd were sporting glow in the dark glasses with glow sticks in tow. Sure, Black Kids is a synthesized dance pop band, but what was going on?
Akin to Deadmau5's trademark mouse ears or Devo's energy dome, these well lit frames were sported by the most loyal of Pop Glow fans, and when four skinny-jeaned men walked on stage, three sporting matching blue muscle tees, one of which sported the glasses, it suddenly all made sense.
The Winter Haven-based Pop Glow lit up the stage with their first song "Disco," and the only thing possibly more energized than their set list -- which included covers of Michael Jackson's "Rock with You" and Phoenix's "Listomania" -- was their full-on dance moves, as their keyboardist and vocalist alternated between singing their distorted vox. They knew just when to speed it up and when to slow it down, pacing themselves and picking up the energy halfway through.
As concert-goers from Hole's Fillmore show spilled over into the Vagabond a little after 1, Black Kids took to the stage. They didn't disappoint, and as Reggie Youngblood revealed to us earlier, they tested out five new songs on the audience. They instantly dove in to their new material with "Tripping," and intertwined some old favorites, making sure to show off their apparent Cure undertones in the not-yet-released tunes.
They gained momentum with "Hit the Heartbrakes," and from then on, the audience was more than energized, especially considering we'd all been dancing for over an hour. Lead vocalist Reggie revealed that one of the songs was in fact written about a girl from Miami, and the crowd cheered. The guitars suddenly became richer and the synths louder, as the band picked up speed, and once they started playing "I'm not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You," the lights were strengthened and all who were sitting from pure exhaustion instantly rose up to dance. I'm afraid their little British-tinged slang like their yeah's and cheers -- which I found so endearing -- were lost on most of the crowd, though.
Unlike other venues, once the show was over, everyone stayed and continued partying. The crowd spilled back into the main room and the back patio area as the beats kept bumping, and both bands became regular attendees, partying with the crowds, mingling, and signing autographs for fans.
Personal Bias: I enjoy music I can full-on dance to, and this was the perfect backdrop for that.
Random Detail: All those glow sticks and glow stick glasses just lit up the crowd... literally.
By the Way: If you missed the show in Miami or in West Palm and would still like to catch 'em, they'll be continuing their Florida tour July 13-17 in Tampa, Gainesville, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville. go to blackkidsmusic.com for tour dates.
Black Kids Set List
Tripping (new song)
I'm Making Eyes At You
I've Underestimated My Charm (Again)
Smokes (new song)
Castles To The Ceiling (new song)
Hit The Heartbrakes
Look At Me (When I Rock Wichoo)
Rude Boys Don't Cry (new song)
My Christian Name
Weird Hearts (new song)
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You