MillionYoung and the Asteroids Galaxy Tour
Music Hall of Williamsburg
November 11, 2012
So on a rare Sunday night, I was at the Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch the Copenhagen, Denmark-based funk and soul act the Asteroids Galaxy Tour during a two week North American fall tour to support the band’s latest album, Out of Frequency.
Opening for the Asteroids Galaxy Tour was a New Wave-inspired synth pop/dance rock act MillionYoung. And although generally their material wasn’t the most original sound I’ve heard – it compared quite favorably to New Order and Cut Copy – but they delivered with an earnestness of purpose that was heartfelt and sincere. And sometimes sincerity can win a crowd over in unexpected ways. Plus, they played a rather high energy, quick paced set.
Something interesting happened within the first couple of songs of the Asteroids Galaxy tour set. A diehard fan of the band, was taking some extremely closeup cell phone pictures of the band’s lead singer Mette Lindberg. There’s a line between being a diehard fan and being obnoxious, and this fan was being unusually obnoxious – his phone was literally about two inches from her face. And as she was in the middle of singing a song, she snatched the dude’s phone out of his hand and threw it underneath the keyboard stand.
A couple of songs later, Lindberg asked the same fan if he’d like his phone back. Perhaps he was a little bit ashamed of himself but he nodded, go this phone bag and put it away the rest of the show…
Now the Asteroids Galaxy Tour’s sound is pretty familiar to me – it has elements of soul, funk and disco. As a fan of soul and funk, it’s great to see those genres see such a resurgence of late and the Danish band fits in a group of bands that include the Funk Ark, Emefe, Derobert and the Half-Truths, the Right Now, JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and others. And sonically, the AST compares quite favorably to their counterparts. So admittedly, their sound isn’t the most novel, most earthshakingly original thing you’ll hear but man the band can play. Their horn section can compete against those of their counterparts. But I think the MVP of the night had to be their lead singer Lindberg. Lindberg shassayed and vamped about the stage like a diva, and commanded everyone’s attention.
Most of their set was songs from Out of Frequency and the material was given a bit more muscle and a little bit more room for playful expansion – a lengthier solo here and there but for the most part, the songs were down in a more straightforward fashion. Even at that, hearing more straightforward versions of the recorded material live allows fans to hear how well-written the material is – it has tight grooves and is incredibly hook-filled. You could be unfamiliar with their material as a whole, and find their hooks to be infectiously catchy. After hearing “Major” live, I had the horn line which wraps around it’s hook in my head for a few days afterward. Out of the shows of the second half of the year, this one was pretty memorable.
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
For these photos and the rest of the photos from this night of funk music, check out the Flickr set here: