There are few things worthy of getting me out of bed with swollen lymph nodes and a missing voice on a Friday evening. One of them is the Ed Banger Seventh Anniversary Show, which took place last Friday at Terminal 5 in New York. The concert featured a strong line-up of electro greats from the Ed Banger label, including: Justice, Breakbot, Busy P, DJ Mehdi and surprise guests A-Trak (the only performer not under Ed Banger Records), Uffie and Feadz.
Breakbot and DJ Mehdi led off the show with your standard eyebrow vibrating, beat-heavy electro. The crowd (including my electro-lover Swiss friends) seemed thoroughly impressed with the following performer, A-Trak’s, whose performance was by far the most original of the night, mixing minimal house, rap and generally energetic beats that provided for a great dance experience.
At five minutes to midnight, the crowd got its first (and only) live singing performance, courtesy of Uffie with Feadz on the turntables. Despite a fabulous(ly short) one-shouldered, glittering dress, Uffie’s performance left much to be desired. She didn’t sing her catchiest tune, “Pop the Glock,” and the high level of substances she presumably was exposed to that evening left her vocals in “MCs Can Kiss” sounding rather flat.
Luckily, this disappointment was shortly amended when the evening’s host, label head Busy P, arrived. As he took the stage, hundreds of balloons dropped from the ceiling to loud cheers of “Busy P what the fuucckk.” Within three minutes, almost all of the balloons were popped and the crowd was thoroughly immersed in the experience. Half way through his hour-long set, a four-layered birthday cake was wheeled out — although I was not able to see it through all of the sweating bodies. “We need a fucking knife to cut the cake for you, guys,” Busy P shouted out in his heavy French accent, donning a newly-acquired white cowboy hat. “Do you look like peoples from Flo-ree-da?”
Following Busy P, Justice was by far the biggest name on the bill, but the group’s hour-long set provided little for electro enthusiasts to get excited about. Their best performance was surprisingly not an original, but a more electronic rendition of Busy P’s “To Protect and Entertain.” Justice played many unfamiliar songs, which were unfortunately less distinctive — harder, less shrill, less rock and metal — than their known material from † (Justice). The performance, however, did seem to confirm that Justice would be releasing a new album in 2010 under the U.S. label Elektra.
Despite excellent performances by Busy P and A-Trak, the five hours of repetitive, beat-based music did become tiring. On the whole, the Ed Banger Seven provided an amazing night, which was immeasurably fun, even if the quality of music did not remain top throughout. Searching for a friend’s lost phone as the crowd cleared out, my friends and I witnessed the remains of Ed Banger’s Seventh Anniversary Party — a floor littered with bottles, popped balloons, empty pill containers, cigarettes, shirts, sweaters, glo-sticks, cups, a disposable camera and even a skater’s sneaker.
By the end of the night I was hot, messy, covered in alcohol and ready to go home. However, the Ed Banger show, despite our group’s lost items and missed sleep, was certainly more worthwhile than the time I braved a kidney infection to see the Kooks. As we left Terminal 5, my friend rued her lost phone, others shivered in the cold, while I wished only for a taxi to carry me away to slumber.
The things we sacrifice for love and good music.