The way to The-Dream was down down a gazillion flights of stairs at the Hudson Hotel. It took us through a leery hallway with black lights leading into a cavernous space filled with free beer and hope. It seemed like everyone was everybody else's friend. The room was pulsing with that buzz that only happens at the beginning of the summer when anything can happen and all dreams can come true—seeing the two shining stars of summer music. After sweating it out to Wavves' awesome set, hands start wringing and whispers could be heard through out the room "Is he coming?" "It's already 10PM."
PRE-SHOW: DJ FALTY DL
The Budweiser ran out and it seemed the entire summer hinged on the success of The FADER's issue 68 release party, and then BOOM: DJ Falty DL started playing "Rocking That Shit" and "Shawty is da Shit"," soon our questions were answered. If you've never seen The-Dream live, the word to use is hypnotic.
When he came out halfway through "Nikki" (in the middle of the second chorus, just at the brink of the bridge) all attention was forward. The climax of "Nikki" was akin to the bodies in heat—pulsing, grinding, about to be turnt out. Hands in the air and every lyric was yelled toward the stage. This is what the man does. In a crowd full of every type of person that could possibly exist in New York (that can legally drink) he is able to make every part of us move.
Sweat was forgotten when he jumped into "Purple Kisses" because his ability to leave a mark on the right side of your brain started with this unforgettable tune from Love/Hate. With the crowd doing more singing than he did, all you could think about was how you first fell in love with this prolific man.
"LOVE KING" + "PANTIES TO THE SIDE"
By the time he got to "Love King" there was pure electricity in the air and it lasted through the uptempo sex-overdrive of "Panties to the Side." Then he left. Just like that, HE LEFT! NO WAY! You could feel the freak out in the front row of ladies pounding beer bottles on the stage calling for more. We were all totally in a trance.
"MAKE UP BAG" (ENCORE)
The-Dream reappeared for "Make Up Bag" (in it's entirety, ad-libbing T.I.'s verse) and it was the climax we were all waiting for. The madness that ensued was just a palpitating mass of euphoria. We're pretty sure people met and fell in love during the set. Maybe even made a baby. It was just the work of a true magician. Whether you are a fan of The-Dream or not (if you're not there's nothing to say) you cannot deny the man's ability to captivate. He is always in charge; always keeping you right at the edge until he's ready to let you go. You will enjoy every minute of it because its like the best sex you've ever had—your heart races, you're yelling like an animal and you cant stop until it's over. Did shivers run down our spine? You can bet on it. Did our minds melt into mush? For sure. Did we leave excited for possibly the best summer of all time? How could we not. The summer of love has officially begun.
THE-DREAM, "TRILOGY" ("YAMAHA," "NIKKI PT. 2," "ABYSS")
[vimeo width="570" height="489"]http://vimeo.com/12945196[/vimeo]
Part of what makes The-Dream so revered is how his albums are sequenced. Each of his three albums have their spiraling moments where each song perfectly leads into the next, as if the DJ were in the bedroom orchestrating each transition. Up until Love King, our imagination has been the best way to feel the angst of the loaded gun on "Love vs. Money" to jetsetting on a trip to Monaco on "Fancy." To bring that element to life this time with the trifecta of "Yamaha," "Nikki Pt. 2" and "Abyss" he turned to the visionary team of Motion Family. It's a thriller of emotions, 12:36 minutes long. Get your popcorn.