This past Saturday, February 23, New York City was bursting with marquee electronic music shows. Elrow was at Avant Gardner, so was Tourist in another room, Roger Sanchez was at Schimanski, The Knocks were at Brooklyn Steel, Jody Wisternoff and Martin Roth were doing an unofficial Anjunadeep 10 release party at Good Room and Eric Prydz stopped in somewhat last minute for an immediate sell out at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. It was a bit dizzying and hard to keep up with, but I made the choice to start the night with Tourist at Avant Gardner.
It was a cold and rainy night in Bushwick with lines unusually long as security seemed to be holding people up for an odd amount of time and there was a general sense of confusion why it was taking so long to get people in the door. Once inside the warmth and light glow of the venue embraced the revelers. Gilligan Moss got the place warm with their funky, uptempo house music.
The venue started to fill up during an elongated changeover as they got Tourist to wait as more fans started to fill the venue. The original information online had said the show would end at 1am, but Tourist dispelled that saying he would go well over that. When the clock stuck midnight and led to 12:20 for his opening song, it made sense he wouldn’t play for just 40 minutes.
He started his set with very ambient numbers as a blue light bathed over the crowd peering through a fog emitting occasionally from smoke machines. The wisps of smoke would lift up to the gold leafed ceiling where a giant disco ball reigns supreme over the room, letting you know this a place where you dance and dance music is played.
After 10 minutes he built things up with, adding drums into his records on “Emily,” which really got the crowd going.
His set was a nice blend of music from his first album U and then the week-old album Everyday, blending their moods, tempos and energy. He would use the ambient numbers to draw the crowd in and provide blissful moments and then provide the release with some of the more uptempo tracks found littered in his discography. Tourist would use his drum machines and pads to elongate ambient song sections and then emphasize the drums in others, adding a little different element to his records.
He dashed off the stage around 1:35 for an encore with the room still bathed in red and orange light, misted in smoke, as the crowd demanding one more song. One fan even took out their phone and used it to create a sign asking for “Run.” He did just that, playing his biggest record to date, capping off the night on a high note with more dancing as the heavenly melodies and pitched vocals swelled over the crowds and filled them with warmth as they petered out into the night towards their waiting car rides home.