As Winter Storm Jonas spilled a record-breaking blizzard over Greater NYC, it brought us back to a place that exists only within our tiny, candlelit windows; the snow sealing us into a world of long talks, local news, and late-night snacks. There’s camaraderie in the cold.
It’s the same feeling that gripped a few thousand youth as they stamped their frozen Converse on Barclays Center’s icy sidewalk on Thursday, giggling and shivering as they waited for doors at Kygo’s show. When the burst of warm air finally escaped to soothe their aches, they were unified by an exhilarated sigh, hours before their dancing bodies knotted or their lighters hit the air.
While the defrosted crowd filled up the vast stadium, the voice of Conrad Sewell did the same. With his soulful backup singers at his side, the Australian singer-songwriter showed off some poppy power ballads and an impressive vocal range. Then Sewell went full-out gospel on his newest single, “Remind Me,” which, if the cheers are any measure, is something he should do all the time.
The crisp, clean lights did their majestic dance, welcoming Danish songstress and noted badass MØ onto the stage. She was sleight-of-hand magic, flipping the red scarf woven into her trademark braid and strutting with poise between the thick pulse of the strobes. MØ’s distinctive vocals, rich and roomy, pounced on the cool beats beneath them as she grooved through hits like “Pilgrim,” Elliphant’s “One More,” “Kamikaze,” “New Year’s Eve,” and Major Lazer’s “Lean On.”
Like another perfect magic trick, Kygo’s entrance involved the drop of a massive sheet and even some levitation. As the flourish rapidly unfolded, the crowd collectively gasped to find him – and his grand piano – floating above them on a moving platform while his fingers graced the keys. The next surprise came when the Kygo bracelets on everyone’s wrists suddenly lit up the arena in red, white and blue, each one becoming a single pixel in a synchronized light-show.
Once his grand descent was complete, the DJ raced across the stage and centered himself in a kaleidoscope of morphing screens. The squeals floated up wildly as he mixed, rising even higher when vocalist Maty Noyes joined him for their latest single, “Stay.” She grabbed eyes amidst the lavish production, holding her own alongside explosions of fireworks, fog, and flames.
Edible hits like “Coming Over,” “Cut Your Teeth,” and “Here for You” set the soundtrack for the evening as smoke and mirrors met confetti cannons, burying the crowd in big, loopy streamers until they resurfaced like a sea monster. Wrapping up with “Stole the Show” before an encore of “Nothing Left” and “Firestone,” Kygo brought everyone close to each other and far from the New York winter.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley