Last night’s hell-freezing-over blast of arctic weather in NOLA was nothing out of the ordinary for the youngsters in Disclosure (hailing from the UK), arriving in New Orleans amidst a lengthy stateside run. Despite selling out weeks in advance, the “Sneauxmageddon” situation in South Louisiana freed up some tickets the day of the show due to the fact that those traveling in from the North would be unable to traverse the Ponchartrain Causeway to make it out for the show. Those who filed in to the Warehouse District venue were handsomely rewarded with an eighty-minute dance party fueled by Disclosure’s house-infused brand of energized and cerebral live electronica.
Hitting the stage around 10:20 amidst flashing strobes, brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence took to their respective beat labs, rared up to channel through songs from their singles-heavy 2013 breakout LP Settle. Stripped down for the confines of a relatively smaller stage at the Republic, the visual aesthetic was a nice accent to the impressive chops of the duo but not a blinding distraction from the music (as most electronic acts seem to actually shoot for).
The focus of the crowd, for the most part (at least on the rails of the balcony) was on the pulsing music emanating on stage. Oscillating between electronic and live drum kits, live bass, vocal dabbling (not the duo’s strong suit), an array synths and laptops, Disclosure put compelling live spins on their already impressive studio output, highlighted by tracks like the bass-and-sample-heavy “When A Fire Starts To Burn” (with an LED inferno heating up the place behind the band).
The most compelling portion of the show came midway through as Guy and Howard worked their way through house tunes like “Voices” (with Aluna George’s vocal segment playing over the PA) and “Grab Her!”. Both tracks got the extended treatment and provided primo opportunities to preemptively get the crowd worked up before big, extended Akai-driven breakdowns. The biggest response from the crowd below unsurprisingly came at the end for “Latch” (with 27 million views on YouTube and 19 million plays on Spotify it shouldn’t be a shocker), as the youthful dance floor went total bonkers mode before filing back out into the relatively frigid winter night.
This duo has a bright future ahead, and after watching what they’re capable on the live stage, it’s no wonder they’re being tapped as high billing festival staples once again this summer. If you get a chance to check ’em out, get a good spot to watch these beatsmiths at work, this electronic act goes far beyond smoke-and-mirrors.