(a.ka. Not intended to dissDisclosure, but the closeness of people by the stage)
I bought my ticket for Disclosure the day after I saw the poster on the street promoting their show here. It was January and I’d been looking forward to it since then, which was perhaps a mistake. When you’re looking forward to something for too long, your expectations get higher and higher and sometimes after the element of expectation comes the element of disappointment. But this time, it was not caused by Disclosure themselves, but by the crowd.
The first mistake was the choice of venue, I think. Bi Nuu has the most popular location ever (for tourists at least) – it’s right inside Schlesisches Tor underground/subway station. I’d only heard about it in conjuction with concerts so far, and that was maybe the problem. Taking all the hype surrounding the dance music scene, and Disclosure right now, the place should have definitely been bigger (and the sound quality/acoustics should have been better too). Seriously, why Bi Nuu, when there are so many other possibilities? Cos which other city is stuffed with more clubs built for dance music than Berlin, huh?
After I came in, I found a spot near to the stage. I was surrounded by a crowd of French guys, who was shuffling around me like pigeons investigating someone with a piece of bread. I couldn’t move in any direction at all very well and my dancing for the support act was very jerky. I was really cramped by all of those people talking (shouting) to each other (even while Disclosure were on), squashing me and taking hundreds of photos with their camera (I know that in the era of smartphones, banning cameras in clubs is kinda old school, but in these cases might not be a bad idea).
Disclosure themselves were great. Poppy, bouncy and melodic as we know and like. These days, it’s impossible to differentiate if the producers use only software, software and hardware, instruments or instros… Well, Disclosure used everything. Apart from computers, they were playing synths, something which I believe was a MIDI keyboard controller, drums (both electric and percussion), they actually even sang together. I expected them to play the live version of their tracks in a more house style, and not to stick to the original records as much as they eventually did, but they still rocked the place (funked the house?). We enjoyed (or at least some of us did) hits from the Face EP, remix of Jessie Ware’s Running, White Noise, Tenderly… pretty much every track from their Soundcloud page, as well as a new track from their forthcoming album. They played every track separately to applause (and exclamations like “Motherfucker!“”– no comment…) – deservedly!
That new track Help Me Lose My Mind had a low BPM and was sensitive and beautiful, but obviously not for all the kids – at a very atmospheric moment of the track I looked up at Disclosure and noticed some bored chick checking out her nails in detail. But the worst moment came with one of their biggest hits “What’s In Your Head” (a.k.a. “I Wanna Shave Your Head”, cos that’s what I actually hear there). As my friends or party-buddies know, I’m a keen dancer. I dance a lot and with pleasure, smile and my eyes closed, devoted to music. I naively thought, that dancing and enjoying the music was why everyone else came to Bi Buu last night.
Although I couldn’t actually move so much, and had to listen to shouting in French, I tried my best to enjoy the music and not to leave (ravers never give up!). Trying to jump up and down in a 0.25 square metre space, my movement was suddenly restricted to just standing there, because one of the kids surrounding me started to busily looking for something in his coat, that was by my feet. After a short moment that felt like ages, he finally found what he wanted and put it on his head (that I really wanted to shave at that moment). It was his SUNGLASSES. While Disclosure played their last encore – “Latch”, I couldn’t do anything else than to sing a modified version of the refrain:
Now you got in my space.
I want you let go of me
You ruin the party I embrace.
You’re latching onto me.
For the fault-finders, of course I’m not saying that all of the fans at that party sucked (not just because it would mean that I suck too, which I don’t. Or do I?!). I just had to think about the article from VICE about the growing hype of this “neo-house” (hah, ridiculous right, but anyway), which is where I got the title image for this post. Cos the picture says it all.
Conclusion: If you wanna see Disclosure live, make yourself sure the venue is big enough (or that you stink enough, so nobody would want to be around you).