MUSIC | Notes on a Show: Cultfever, Nomi Ruiz, and Avan Lava
Nothing like a good show to make you fall in love. Not always too sure about the idea of love at first sight, but I am certain of love at first listen.
Saturday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, as 10 PM rolled around, Cultfever filled the room with the sounds of Tamara Jafar’s gentle, soul cradling voice coming alive to Joe Durniak’s perfect guitar pairing. Their music is strong – but not in the way of being boisterous. The sound they create together is harmonious and cohesive with so much range, that each song doesn’t sound the same but the feeling that protrudes it does. Extending their range further, they brought out The Hot Sardines, a multi-piece Dixieland hot jazz line-up that further inserted brilliant trills to the Cultfever flavor.
On to the next. And like a sinewy feline, Nomi Ruiz took to the stage. Flanked by her endlessly sickening (in the best way possible) dancer, Viva, wearing a black catsuit with insets that allowed her ivory skin to peak through, the crowd yearned for her before the music even began. And once it did, the energy decimals in the room went sky high with no hope of falling. Nomi Ruiz’s music is simple in its mission. Her post disco, electric grooves makes commands: Get up. Groove. Lose your mind. Fall in love, fall out. Choose what you wish, but follow these beats and don’t look back. Between her seductive dancing and her silk-like voice, Nomi Ruiz squeezed energy out of me I didn’t even know I had.
And Avan Lava finished me off for good. This is a group that owns every stage they step foot on and you’d have to be dead to not react to their infectious rhythm and lead singer, Tom Hennes’ playful, adorable smile that makes you to jump up and down. Which we did. A lot. Between shots of confetti rain, crowd-surfing on a huge raft (not to mention jumping into the crowd just to sing with us), and a blissful cover of Mark Ronson’s Somebody to Love Me, every inch of me responded to the wonder that is Avan Lava. Their electro-pop efforts bring the best out of any admiring listener and your body sways, your feet move and your mood soars. Who knew I’d get to witness the reincarnation of fun. My ears are still ringing.
Words and Photos | Moeima Dukuly