Tucked away in the far west side of lower Manhattan, The Westway, a reformed gentleman’s club, now lively nightclub hosted an electrifying lineup Friday night.
Starting things off were Wild Party – whose name couldn’t be more fitting, with their supremely danceable tracks, and a front man who couldn’t stand still. Their pop sound reminded me of a mix of Phoenix, Walk The Moon, and a great summer bonfire on the beach. There were a number of times that I found myself dancing along to their songs. Their debut album is due to be released in October, but from the crowd’s reaction, they’ve already built up a solid fan base.
Next to grace the stage was a band called Tiny Victories. I noticed the table the band members lugged on stage was rimmed with tiny LED lights, and I knew I was in for a treat. The lead singer, Greg Waters, starting pressing buttons, turning dials, and moving levers on the multitude of machines perched on his LED table, and the room was engulfed in an array of electronic bloops and bleeps. His voice anchored the sound well, and his band melded seamlessly. After the first song, he said he needed help from the audience and the girl standing next to me lent her voice to the rest of the tracks, a hauntingly distorted lament of “I have a grownup job!” in which the crowd giggled each time it was distorted and weaved into the subsequent tracks. Despite the electronic nature of the songs, they were very danceable, and as someone who never dances, again I found myself happily two-stepping along to the music.
Finally, the wait had come to an end as headliners Hellogoodbye took the stage to deafening screams. Lead singer Forrest Kline was instantly barraged with marriage proposals and undying declarations of love from men and women alike. But that didn’t stop the band from launching into old and new favorites. “Here (In Your Arms)” got a huge response, with the audience belting out the lyrics loudly as Forrest danced around the stage. The girl to the right of me with “Dance With Me??” written on her cellphone in an attempt to get Forrest to dance with her during the night. Turns out Forrest wanted to dance with everyone as he hopped down from the stage and joined all the people standing on the catwalk in an impromptu rave.
From then on, chaos ensued. The majority of the band members lost their shirts, while they encouraged the men in the crowd to do the same. The majority of the men gleefully obliged. One zealous shitless fan ran up to the stage and took a ton of selfies with Forrest as he sang.
It was quite a night of sweat, dancing, nakedness, and lost inhibitions. Another addition to my list of the most fun shows I’ve been to in 2014, without a doubt.
Article by: Lesley Keller