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Watsky’s performance at Pearl Street Night Club on Thursday was “Strong As An Oak”

By Jack Nichols

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(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

(Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

NORTHAMPTON – The ground shook and the crowd roared as four talented acts, Watsky, Kyle, Super-Duper Brick and Anderson Paak brought Pearl Street Night Club to life last Thursday.

The night began with an opening performance by Paak. Drawing from his new album, Paak had the crowd dancing wildly by the ending note of his first song. Anderson played a rela-tively short act and ended on his most popular song, “Drugs.” By the time Paak left the stage, he had created an energetic crowd that could not have been happier to welcome Super-Duper Brick.

The next act was a two-part show that was as comical as it was impressive. Super-Duper Brick took the stage and proceeded to amp the crowd up with intense mixes. Brick ensured that no one in the venue would remain standing still. Dancers crashed into each other as Fruit Gushers were hurled into the audience. By the time the crowd was declared an adequate amount of crazy, Kyle was allowed to take the stage. The minute Kyle walked on stage, it was clear that he and Brick shared a certain dynamic that would make them an incredible performing pair.

This prediction proved entirely reliable as Brick and Kyle performed countless synchro-nized dance routines reminiscent of a 1980s or 1990s boy band concert. Kyle continued to im-press the audience with his performance skills when he took crowd surfing to a new literal level.

Boogie board in hand, Kyle dove into the audience, demonstrating exceptional balance as he “surfed” over the crowd mid-song. Kyle continued to rile his audience up when the first beats of “Sex & Super Smash Bros.” fell to the crowds loving ears. To finish up his set, Kyle elicited a chant from the audience directed at his disc jockey and producer. The crowd screamed “Brick, play that new shit” with the hopes of hearing the latest of Kyle’s musical endeavors.

Kyle’s new songs did not bring an equal amount of energy to the crowd as his previous songs, but they were fun nonetheless. Kyle and Brick’s performance was so intense many crowd members forgot that there was still a main act to come.

As Watsky took the stage, shrieks filled Pearl Street as the crowd’s energy soared to a new high. Watsky’s eclectic mix of the humorous and morbidly serious was well-crafted into a beautiful show. Drawing mainly from his two newest albums, “Cardboard Castles” and “All You Can Do,” Watsky gave the audience a powerful 90-minute show fueled by quick rhymes and a memorable stage performance.

Accompanied by Paak as his backup singer, Watsky began the concert with “Bet Against Me.” Watsky used this first song to simultaneously introduce the crowd to his exotic perfor-mance style and anger his sound crew, as he linked his microphone to a bullhorn that produced a horribly fantastic noise that the crowd loved. Watsky powered through some of his more notable songs with an energy and power missing in the studio versions of his work. The drums and bass kicked and rocked the floor as Watsky spit rhyme after rhyme into the open air of Pearl Street.

One of Watsky’s most notable performances of the night was the lesser-known “Stu-pidass” off of his 2012 album. “Stupidass” revamped the crowd with humorous lyrics and a deeper meaning that the crowd was getting into. However, the highlight of the concert rested in his next song. Watsky took “Tiny Glowing Screens Pt. 1” and added a Western Massachusetts twist.

Following the first chorus of “Tiny Glowing Screens Pt. 1,” Watsky delivered a fast-paced and impressive freestyle about Western Massachusetts, focused mostly on Northampton and Holyoke. This performance was quickly rivaled by a wonderful mash-up of Watsky’s most popular songs. A song that started off “Rich Girls” quickly transitioned into “Strong As An Oak” then “Hey Asshole,” followed by the opening lines of “Cardboard Castles” and ended with “4 A.M. Monday.” This song satisfied the crowd who was looking to hear each of these songs dis-regarding the time restrictions of a concert.

The show ended with a powerful performance that goes by the name of “Whoa Whoa Whoa.” The fast verses and pounding choruses of “Whoa Whoa Whoa” coupled with a well-timed stage dive left the crowd desirous of more Watsky. Fortunately, Watsky returned for an encore with a crowd favorite. Middle fingers were thrown up as Watsky tore through “IDGAF” with an energy that left the crowd satisfied and deaf.

From Anderson Paak’s opening, to Brick and Kyle’s synchronized show, to Watsky’s forceful performance, the energy never died in Pearl Street. Watsky proved to the audience of Pearl Street that he is not your average musician and showed his expertise as an entertainer. Wat-sky gave an incredible performance that left the crowd in awe and rushing home to listen to more.

Jack Nichols can be reached at [email protected]

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