Sunday night was cold. Really cold. Defying the bitterness of the blustery wind, I met my friend Angie at Studio B in Greenpoint, hoping a good old-fashioned rock and roll dance party would warm my bones. Unlike some, I love The Go! Team's first album. It uses layers of cheerleader chants, triumphant horns, and early 80s hip-hop lyrics to make you feel like you're at a sunny urban park jumping rope and playing hopscotch. Their last album sounded much the same only not as consistent, but was undeniably catchy nonetheless. On this night, rugs were bound to be cut.
We made our way inside, grabbed a drink or two, and settled in to watch the openers. The first band was a couple of MCs who looked like American Apparel models and sounded just as indifferent. Second was a group of 60s-psychedelic-loving Grace Slick impersonators. Their sound was tight and dark, but not exactly what I was in the mood for. After their set the crowd started to get into it. People packed the tiny dance floor in front of the stage, waiting for sonic joy to pummel their ears.
The Go! Team came out rocking extremely loud and hard and it didn't take long for the crowd to start jumping around. Right from the opener, MC Ninja had the crowd on a string. She danced, we danced. She told us to yell out a lyric, we did. All the while emanating cuteness I can only describe as luscious. They tore through a set of all the favorites: “Bottle Rocket”, “We Just Won't Be Defeated”, “Grip Like A Vice”, and the highlight o' the night “Ladyflash.” Ninja dared the crowd to dance harder than we ever had before, and we shook it fast because that's what we were there to do.
I find it almost impossible to be unhappy while listening to their pop-rock's youthful exuberance. So many times an audience of kids at a rock show will lead to some head bobbing and toe-tapping, but they're still too self-conscious to let loose. A club full of uninhibited 20-somethings barely stopping between songs to rest their feet gave me images of a 1950s sock-hop, back when hearing live rock and roll truly breathed life into your soul. The audience moved as one joyous entity. After their encore we thanked them, but didn't cheer for more. We were all far too giddy and exhausted to be greedy.