Krewella at Stereo Live, 9/6/2013
Photos by Julian Bajsel
Krewella Stereo Live September 6, 2013
Oh how things can change in just under a year. The last time Krewella came to town they were in the opening slot with a single EP under their belt, but it was clear at the time that there were big things ahead for the trio.
They managed to reach those big things pretty quick. Since we spoke to them way back in October 2012, they've officially become a thing. Not only are they EDM headliners selling out clubs coast to coast, but Krewella had a legit crossover hit with "Alive" that introduced them to listeners outside the genre.
Friday night saw them bring the "Get Wet Tour" to Houston, bringing with them a custom stage, live vocals, and an album's worth of new material to wow the crowd. And if this is where they are after a year, it's scary to think about where they'll be a year from now because right now they're on fire.
There are a lot of buzzword phrases that get thrown around whenever an EDM act releases a new track. No one ever releases a song, it's always a new "smash" or "banger" or "epic." Most of the time those words are just PR fluff, but whenever Krewella puts out a new track it always seems like they rise to the occasion. On mp3 the tracks rock, but live - especially with the live vocals - they really shine.
Starting the night with their current single (and one of our top tracks of the summer) "Live For The Night," their set was high-energy and full of ridiculously catchy anthems. It's a physically exhausting collection of music, with very little room to catch your breath, which is exactly what the crowd wanted. This wasn't about a group of people going on a journey or finding some sort of inner truth, this was a show for people who want to rage.
It can't be stressed how great the addition of live vocals to a DJ set is. There is a certain amount of energy that comes with doing things live; it brings that chaotic, human element to the table that is hard for even the best DJs to replicate. There's always going to be more motivation to sing out loud when someone on the stage has a mike versus someone behind a laptop waving their arms up and down.
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Credit must be given to the sister duo of Jahan and Yasmine Yousaf. With their partner in crime Rain Man sitting out the current leg of the tour, not only are they in front singing their hearts out, but the sisters also do their time in the booth controlling the music. If the show is exhausting to experience, it must be even harder to actually put on. Right now they've managed to work up a solid balance of performance and DJing that gets the people going without burning them out.
The highlight of the night was the back-to-back combination of "Enjoy the Ride" and "Alive." Neither are the heaviest or hardest songs in their collection, but they are the two songs that best show their gift for writing songs that can appeal to the hardcore dance kids and your average pop listener. It's hard to imagine a show at Stereo Live having a bigger sing-along than the one that came with "Alive"; it is the definition of crowd pleaser.
Let's not end this with predictions. Whether they're playing bigger venues next year or not doesn't really matter. That kind of talk would really go against the "live in the moment" spirit of the group. Be content to enjoy the ride, no matter where it goes or where the shows end up taking place.
Personal Bias: The interview I did with Yasmine Yousaf was one of the easiest I've ever done, so they'll always have some goodwill coming from me.
The Crowd: It's the summer y'all, which means the youngsters are free to wear as little as possible to the club.
Overheard in the Crowd: "I expected there to be more glow sticks," said my +1, although there were some cool glowing belts and facemasks.
Random Notebook Dump: People-watching pro tip: stand by a mirror. It's fascinating to watch people walk up to it, check themselves out, move their hair around a bit, then walk away looking exactly the same but feeling much better about themselves.
So, How Was The Opener? I dig Seven Lions a lot because he plays the type of electronic chaos that I like the most. Plus, that Tritonal remix he does is a beast. I just wish his set had been a bit louder... I didn't even have to put my earplugs in while he was onstage.
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