There was nothing ordinary about New York City’s first Sunday of June. The early hours of the day saw stagnant downpours of rain, rare sunshine, alluring rainbows, and a lurking storm. These were no causalities of Mother Nature, but rather a sign of what was to come: Knife Party was en route to the big apple to play an intimate show at South Street Seaport. For the first time since releasing the increasingly popular Rage Valley EP, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen set their sights on NYC destruction – and destroy it they did.
When the gates opened at Beekman Beach Club, the trendy waterfront beer garden was still busy with the seaport lunch crowd. As soon as house music began to play at 4PM, adults of all ages — dressed in their Sunday best — became noticeably confused, and stared in awe as young partygoers in neon began to flood their afternoon getaway. Despite the early rain, ravers danced to the opening sounds of Sazon Booya, Hellfire Machina, Alex English, and Nick Catchdubs as they began to outnumber pedestrians. Locals and tourists filled the balcony of the neighboring mall to witness and take photos of something they’ve never seen before. Like visitors at a zoo, they gawked at the dedicated dubstep fans raging in the rain without a care. It was impossible not to feel the strong vibes coming from the crowd: they came to party with Knife Party and would not rest until they had done so.
The sun finally set on the East River and the tent became jam-packed with the anxious crowd. Knife Party took the decks at 9pm and wasted no time, debuting the title track from their new EP, they sent the crowd into an uproar and set the explosive energy that would remain throughout the night. They would next drop their remix of Labrinth’s “Last Time,” before making an unexpected move into Quintino and Sandro Silva’s “Epic.” After that was Knife Party’s rendition of “Save The World” – an aggressive move for the early minutes of the set – before a surprising drop of Hardwell’s “Kontiki” into the always rowdy “Breakn’ A Sweat.”
Knife Party – Rage Valley (Original Mix)
Classic Knife Party material would come shortly after, as the duo stirred the mayhem with “Destroy Them With Lazers” that dropped into “Atom” for a raging one-two punch. As far as the next track, well, let’s just say you might’ve checked to see if your iPhone was ringing. The waterfront swarm went into a frenzy when they heard “Internet Friends” and would only become more provoked when Knife Party moved into the School Boy remix of “Antidote.”
Next up, another KP original, “Fire Hive,” would take hold of the reckless deluge, followed by Skrillex’s “Lick It Down.” Rob and Gareth would give the crowd what they wanted – new material – dropping Rage Valley tracks, “Centipede” and “Sleaze” back to back. The crowd’s response was unbounded – indicating they already know and love the new tracks, fans chanted along with “Sleaze:” “Until they kick us out, people move your feet!”
Knife Party – Sleaze (Original Mix)
With Knife Party in complete control of the masses, they continued to delight with “Bangarang” and the ecstatic Moguai remix of “Ya Mama.” Paying homage to the originators of headbanging, they took a turn with a remix of Metallica’s “Seek and Destroy” before further shaking things up with Swanky Tunes and Hard Rock Sofa’s “The Edge.” Moving back into their own material, they dropped 100% No Modern Talking’s “Tourniquet” followed by the brand new moombah-dub anthem “Bonfire,” casting an overwhelming reaction from yet another Rage Valley pick. Knife Party closed out the night just as strongly as they opened it, unleashing their remix of “Unison” on the brash faction, leaving the at-capacity sea of ravers in absolute amazement.
Knife Party – Bonfire (Original Mix)
The small venue provided a front row view and an intimate experience that felt like a personal Knife Party show to all in attendance. The set was a steady balance of KP material, dubstep favorites, and spontaneous electro selections. Consistent versatility kept fans raging without pause, but tracks from the new Rage Valley EP stole the show. Before Knife Party took stage, we knew that their fans were dedicated, but after bearing witness to the worship of material that was released just one week prior, it might be arguable that they have some of the most loyal devotees. On a curious summer day, Knife Party invaded Beekman Beach Club and transformed lower Manhattan into a Rage Valley of their own.
And you didn’t even have to take the ferry to Brooklyn.
Don’t forget to check out our Superior Summer Guide for information on up-coming events in New York City this month.