I've been a big fan of ZHU ever since his early days of dropping remixes and originals that shrouded him in hyped mystery. After listening to his 2016 album, GENERATIONWHY, multiple times, the anticipation to see him live with TOKiMONSTA as support at Brooklyn Steel quickly rose. RINGOS DESERT, his second album, keeps the same ZHU sound we are familiar with while making use of other talented artists on eight of the album's fourteen tracks.
TOKiMONSTA opened for ZHU and had Brooklyn Steel packed at 9:30 pm, playing a heavier set focused on bass music, hip-hop, and energetic house to get the room moving. It was an absolute joy seeing her smile and enjoy playing to a lively crowd. Her performance made realize how important it is for the artist to be into the set as much as the crowd and how that energy goes both ways.
ZHU walked onto his towering dune stage at 10:15 pm under pitch darkness and started off by thanking the crowd for three amazing nights. "Welcome to Ringos Desert" were the only words illuminating the venue, inviting us on a journey of dark house, live instrumentals, and strong visual design.
"Stormy Love, NM" was the first song I heard from the album so the combination of his and JOY.'s eerie vocals instantly pulled me in. ZHU's live vocals (which were at times hard to hear), were accompanied by an electric guitarist and saxophonist that had their own shred session during a short intermission which was something the crowd was not expecting but welcomed with shouts of affirmation.
Towards the end, ZHU played crowd pleasers "Superfriends" and "Faded" to get everyone dancing on their feet one last time while confetti was bursting through the air.
ZHU continues his fall Dune tour throughout October, ending with a show at Red Rocks, so be sure to grab tickets for your city!