All photos: Katherine Gaines
At about 9:15pm, the line moved like a conveyor belt of eclectic party animals into the second floor performance space/dance floor at DC 9. The night began with an open bar and a mixed crowd including various races, sexual preferences, and lots of room to party. By 11pm there was barely room to breathe. The crowd moved from diverse to majority gay male, it’s the liberation dance party after all, therefore sexual freedom is always the move.
Anticipating Sky Ferreira to rock the house I posted up in a corner of the room to observe the flow of energy. DC9 provides an amazing sound system with the ultimate eye-level performance experience. Sky took advantage of the intimacy with smoke machines and minimal lighting. She didn’t address the crowd much, if at all. Her focus was completely on delivering music. Through the fog I observed the crowd serving more as on-lookers than a dance party, however her mesmerizing vocals kept the fans grooving in place. It was clear that at least the first couple of rows of people were interested in watching her energy evolve on stage vs. soaking her energy into their party experience. The people toward the back of the room were talkative and inattentive. I decided to survey the room a bit by asking “Did you know that Sky Ferreira was playing here tonight? Did you come to see her or just to party?” After gaining the responses from a few people I gathered that the crowd was maybe half and half. The majority of them had no clue who Sky Ferreira was, but they were digging her vibe. Some expressed that they couldn’t believe that such an amazing talent was available in concert for such a low price.
The biggest draw appeared to be the title “The Liberation Dance Party.” Attendees expected a raging high energy celebration of liberation in the form of fist pumping body jerking good time, but were met with the a uniquely captivating bluesy rock artist Sky Ferreira. As far as half of the room was concerned the featured band could have been anyone. The audience whether clued into Sky Ferreira or not had no choice but to appreciate her as worth much more than any ticket could buy. She seamlessly transitioned from song to song of her newest release, The Ghost EP. Opening with “Sad Dream,” a live sound that expands the sound of the recorded track. It is not often that you hear a live performance that sounds as awesome as the recorded performance. Sky managed to pull this off with confidence and ease. My favorite song on the EP “Lost in My Bedroom” lit the fire in the room turning grooving hips into full fledged dancing. However, not all of her songs allow for the dance party to continue with the same energy. The 80s dance foundation of her music is awesome to jam to in the mirror at home, but doesn’t always allow you to bounce around a club with a partner. Judging by crowd reaction a more intimate “Unplugged” type of setting with a seated listening crowd is where people will enjoy her most. From the crowd view, Sky Ferreira is a talent that they will remember the next time she books a show in DC.