Lights, projections, drag queens, back up dancers and great dance music. That’s one way to describe an amazing performance by Ssion (pronounced “shun”) at the Highline Ballroom in New York in the wee hours of the morning on March 3, 2012. Hitting the stage around 3 am (yowsah!), Cody Critcheloe of Ssion wasted no time getting the crowd revved up with his classic song “Fear Us.” Ssion originated in Kansas City and has been enjoying a growing following in New York and rightfully so. 2011 saw the performance art dance band Ssion performing a series of fantastic and critically acclaimed shows at PS1 as well as the release of the for a limited time only free download of the album “Bent,” a record which made my top 11 albums list of 2011. The record (and this morning’s performance) have great songs that will take your mind on a journey from club thumpers such as “Listen to the Grrrls” “Blonde With U,” and “Psy-chic” to the after-hours chill out songs “Growin'” “Feelz Good (4-Ever)” and “My Love Grows in the Dark.”
Ssion’s performance is not just filled with great songs for the ears and feet, but it’s also a treat visually. Performed in front of screens showing extremely trippy visuals, Ssion’s show also included choreographed dance moves executed by male dancers, whose bodies looked like statues. Even at a very late hour, the crowd danced for the entire hour long set which also included a cover of Hole’s “Credit in the Straight World” and a bit of Prince’s Madonna’s “Keep It Together.” Even though my body clock is off kilter today, I wouldn’t have missed this show for the world, and the next time Ssion play, you shouldn’t either!
On February 23, 2012, Sinead O’Connor played her first of two sold out shows at New York’s Highline Ballroom. She’s in town promoting her new album “How About I Be Me (And You Be You)” which she joked could also be called “How About I Be Me (And You Fuck Off)” in reference to her recent tabloid-esque life where she got married and divorced and reconciled quicker than I can type this sentence. The packed house also had some stars in the audience including former REM lead singer Michael Stipe, The Smiths’ Andy Rourke and singer Jay Brannan. What we witnessed and heard was the unmistakable voice that belongs to Sinead O’Connor. There’s no question that watching her perform is nothing short of amazing and it makes you realize that the world should really focus on her talent instead of her personal life.
Sinead O' Connor
There were times when it sounded as if Sinead might be recovering from a cold, but when she hit the notes (which was often), it brought the house down. She joked in between many songs about her life and mentioned how great it is to be playing for us. The crowd returned the love and lots of shushing was going on when anyone dared speak while Sinead serenaded us. After many songs, thunderous applause and people shouting out “Thank you, Sinead!” filled the room. She dedicated the Prince classic “Nothing Compares 2 U” to her kids and said afterwards that her manager calls the song “Nothing Compares 2 U Bastard.” While she focused a lot on the new album, she also played classics such as “Emperor’s New Clothes” and “Jackie.” The show started just before 9 PM and she played for close to two hours.
Wow! I have had so many wacky encounters with Blondie’s lead singer Debbie Harry and sadly for me, most of them have turned out pretty bad. My curse was lifted on September 13, 2011. Blondie was performing a concert and I had to miss it due to a previous engagement. As the venue was on my way home, I decided to check out the scene. Debbie was not in the mood to sign autographs for a legion of fans that were waiting to meet her, but she posed for photos with a few fans including me! I am SO happy. Thanks Debbie!
On July 14, 2011, I was at the Highline Ballroom in New York seeing the always amazing Nikka Costa perform. I was kickin’ it in the VIP section when I looked to my right and saw that Adam Lambert and his friends were standing inches from me. Bonus! If you are a new reader to According2g, you’ll see on the “Encounters with G” section that amazing experiences like this one happen to me all the time. Bookmark the site and check it daily – you never know what kind of crazy things I’ll get up to! But I digress… All of us danced all night long to Nikka’s music, which is one of the closest things you can have to a religious experience, according2g. Nikka’s got the soul, Nikka’s got the funk and she’s an electrifying performer. Adam Lambert, whose hair is working it in ways I can’t even describe in words, was so cool when we chatted. As he was with friends, I didn’t monopolize too much of his time, but as you can see above, he was cool enough to pose for this really cool photo as you can see above. Adam is working on his 2nd album and I am hoping there’s a Nikka Costa collaboration on it. Fingers crossed! Thanks again Adam. Hope you had as good a time as I had!