New York’s elite piled into the Tribeca Grand for the not-so-secret 1:30 A.M. Gang of Four show last night. Celeb appearances included a boy from that famous gang of five known as NSYNC, a girl from Brown Bunny and a music journalist easily spotted by his distinct taste in hats. The amount of coolness contained in that room could easily stifle a small kitten. The crowd all seemed to be feeling the same - excited anticipation tinged by major sleepiness and fatigue. As the clock hit 1:30, each additional minute of waiting became increasingly painful. Thankfully, at 1:46 all of our waiting and weariness was put to rest by Gang of Four busting through the door and running excitedly onto the stage.
The band didn’t waste a second more and jumped directly into an amazing performance of “What We Want”. The show was instantaneously epic. They continued to play primarily songs off of Entertainment! including “Return the Gift”, “Paralysed”, “At Home He’s A Tourist”, and my personal favorite, “Natural’s Not In It”. Jon King had moves like I’ve never seen before. I couldn’t help but think that he seriously resembled Christopher Walken, and I mean that in only the best way possible. He jumped around stage at times squatting, at times hurling his arms in the air in time with his hips, all the while dripping with sweat and making ridiculous facial expressions. It was some of the most amazing, no holds barred dancing I’ve ever seen. If Jon were a drink, he’d be one part crazed animal, one part Walken, mixed with two parts sexpot rock icon - truly a remarkable combination.
Meanwhile, guitarist and sometimes singer Andy Gill would, for the most part, point his axe directly at the audience and just stare, eyes wild and intense, directly into the audience. At one point he thrust his guitar into the audience for anyone in the crowd to take a strum, after which he abruptly threw it onto the ground and walked away for a good 40 seconds in total rock & roll fashion. After about 25 minutes of balls to the wall, stuff that dreams are made of rock, they hopped off stage and turned toward the exit.
Not even three minutes later, the Gang was back. As they returned for a two song encore, the crowd was dying for a “Cheeseburger”, but to no avail. Instead they got “To Hell with Poverty” and a cover of The Velvet Underground classic, “Sweet Jane”. Ending such a terrific set with a cover was a mild disappointment. It would have been so much greater to hear “I Parade Myself,” or one of the many other songs they neglected to play, but when it comes down to it, they are Gang of Four and they can do what they want.
Source: Cara Heller (photo by Tina Paul)