The New Deal – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 1, 2009

April 2nd, 2009


The New Deal can control the weather. I’m convinced of that after last night’s three-hour, two-set dance-marathon show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Through sheer will of keys, bass and drums, they conjured stifling humidity, dry heat, cool breezes and plenty of makes-you-smile sunshine. They ain’t so new anymore—I’m embarrassed to say how long it had been since I’d last seen them trip the livetronica—but they’re still at it and as good as they ever were.

It’s rare to go to a show in the heart of Williamsburg and see so many people dancing their asses off, but that’s all anyone seemed to care about doing last night. With a wonderful predictability, TND played the crowd like puppets with their clockwork build-and-release jams that had everyone moving right on cue. The connection between band and audience was tight—a palpable double knot with pulsing beats and subsonic bass moving bodies and vice versa.

Musically, there were very few borders. Songs flowed from one to the next without pause, and it was never clear whether I was dancing by myself, with the person next to me or, in fact, with everyone else in the room simultaneously. Even the space between sets was part of a constant stream with DJ Motion Potion laying down plenty of shake-yer-booty before and between. Professing his love for New York City, the Talking Heads and all types of grooves, MoPo populated a timeline from the earliest tribal rhythms right up to the New Deal and beyond. —A. Stein

(The New Deal play a sold-out show tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.)