The Knocks at Concord Music Hall
By Sarah Rosenblum
This Valentine’s Day, The Knocks put on a retro glam show that attracted a crowd of late 20’s to middle aged couples and groupies to Concord Music Hall. The lead singer “Ben B’roc” Ruttner danced across the stage in his embellished sneakers, NY Knicks Jersey, and chunky studded rings with his partner and hype-man James Patterson a.k.a. “J-Pratt.” J-Pratt DJed in the back, while spunky guitarist and vocalist Katie Lee brought a musical energy to the stage. The headliner’s upbeat, colorful show also featured openers, Blu DeTiger and The Young & Sick in supporting roles during their set.
20-year-old New York bassist and artist Blu DeTiger was first to open the show, appearing in an unmissable blue bodysuit. Blu DeTiger’s disco-esque DJ set weaved in Michael Jackson and Destiny’s child, among others, with her own beats. She ended on an original, “Mad Love,” taking the opportunity to flex her impressive bass skills. Flipping her hair and dancing across the stage with confidence, this NYU student embraced the spotlight and definitely uplifted the crowd, starting the party. She engaged with the small but growing crowd early on, and after her performance, the crowd could stop by the merch store where she was working to meet her. Her electric energy came back later in the show, joining the Knocks for a few songs on either bass, turntables, or keys.
The Young & Sick, a crossover between traditional indie and EDM, came on stage next. Before they entered, an equipment box was left on stage, decorated by the group. The Young & Sick are also visual artists who have created album covers for other artists including Foster the People and Mikky Ekko. This Dutch group put on a grungy dance performance, playing some dream-like sets reminiscent of Tame Impala. They also incorporated some classics, like a fun cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Later in the show, the Young and Sick joined The Knocks, wearing a cloak that brought an element of spirituality to the set.
The Knocks’ inclusion of their openers in their own set added to the chill, friendly, and communal vibe of the show. The whole group was constantly engaging with one another, whether through dancing, guitar battles or showing off their members as they strutted across the stage. Their costumes were emblematic of their New York identity, and the central theme of their album “New York Narcotic” was their relationship to the city.
The group performed many collaborations including “Ride Or Die” with Foster the People, and “Brazilian Soul” with Sofie Tukker. Balloons, mood lights and blow-up pigeons created a busy and vibrant stage presence that helped carry the crowd’s upbeat energy. Though the show felt like it lost steam near the end, and likely could have been cut down a bit, the mood of the night overall was consistently fun and enjoyable. The Knocks’ show at Concord Music Hall served as further proof that the young group’s growing renown is earned.