Yellow Claw Barong Family World Tour
I honestly didn’t think I would be writing a review for the Yellow Claw Barong Family World Tour. I’ve been a fan of Yellow Claw for quite some time and they’ve made a few appearances on Violet Roots in the past. Still, when they announced that they would be coming back to the NYC area in Septemeber the initial date was for a Thursday.
I’ve attended plenty of weeknight shows but this particular event started at 10PM and went until 4PM. My work schedule is flexible enough to accomodate that but A, and most of my friends don’t have that luxury. Thankfully, not too long ago they added a second night on Friday. My prayers were answered and my birthday month was shaping up to be even better than I had hoped!
For those of you who need a bit of background Yellow Claw is a DJ duo from Amsterdam who was formally a trio. Earlier in the summer the group’s MC, Bizzey, opted to leave the group. The remaining members, Jim and Nils continued on and the Barong Family World Tour was announced.
Barong Family is the name of the record label the group launched back in 2014 and boasts artists like Cesqeaux, Chace, LNY TNZ, Mighty Fools, San Holo, Michael Cervello, Yung Felix, Moksi and more! Some of the previously mentioned joined them on this tour and I’m excited to share what I thought of each of them. So let’s jump right in to the highlights as well as my overall thoughts!
Day Festival vs. Late Night Event
As mentioned before, this was not the first time that I have seen Yellow Claw. I was fortunate enough to have seen the original lineup before they parted ways at the 2015 Mad Decent Block Party. They were the absolute highlight of that festival and when they walked right by me on the way to their set I nearly died! Haha.
It was different seeing them in a night-time environment and I personally think I prefer it in the daytime. Maybe it’s because the stage and the production levels are bigger in a festival setting, maybe I like having more space to move to the music or maybe you just can’t beat a summer festival. I’m not sure what the reason is but daytime wins out for me.
Thoughts on EDM
Some people don’t take EDM (electronic dance music) or any of it’s subgenres seriously. They think it’s all tap and go on a MacBook and unless you’re singing on that track or strumming a guitar you’re a fraud.
One of my Great Aunts thinks it’s the biggest con out there. It’s become an ongoing inside joke between the two of us and even if I don’t agree with her I understand where she’s coming from.
My Great Aunt is in her late fifties (yes, fifties, my family is young) and she gravitates towards the traditional style of music where a girl/guy sings and maybe plays an instrument.
There is nothing wrong with that but I think with the advancements of technology you have to realize that our computers are also an instrument. You can make digital paintings, write novellas, and yes, make music all from your laptop now.
It’s just the way of progress. I think that any tool that allows you to make something from nothing should be taken seriously. Whether or not it’s made digitally should be irrelevant.
Attending a concert that is standing room only and involves dance music comes with expectations. It’s most likely going to be a packed house made up of less than calm individuals. I went into this like a concert pro and made sure that I was dressed and ready for battle! You don’t want to be the embodiment of a concert etiquette fail – everyone will hate you.
Thankfully the crowds were excited and energized but no one was nasty, insulting, or overly aggressive. Everyone was just thrilled to be there. Yellow Claw fans tends to be big on camaraderie. You’re made to feel like you’re part of a team.
All the merchandise made specifically for the Yellow Claw Barong Family World Tour has an athletic quality. The same goes for the duo’s clothing line, Blood For Mercy (also the title of their debut record). The line offers uniforms that concertgoers wear in full force to each event and there are plenty of items on my wish list.
The Venue & The Stage
Personally, I like attending shows at Webster Hall. When I’m there I always manage to get near the front if not front row and this time was no difference. The only hangup I have this time were the photographers and the VIP guests.
Normally when I go to a show the photographers come out for the first few songs in a set. They take pictures of the artist from the blocked off area right in front of the stage. They get in, get their shot and then get out. VIP guests of the bands usually remain in the VIP balcony as well as in other backstage areas.
During this event, the photographers never went away and were on the actual stage. This means there were several times when my view was blocked. I cut videos short and abandoned some shots because a photographer would pop right in front of me.
On the other hand, the VIP guests were all in plain view. It was distracting to constantly see them all mingling and walking back and forth behind the performers to get their drink refills. At one point one of the openers had a conversation with two fan girls in the middle of the stage behind Yellow Claw. Are you kidding me?!
The Barong Family Openers
A and I arrived a little late to the event so we didn’t see all of the acts that performed. We did, however, catch most of Micheal Cervello set along with all of Cesqeaux, Moksi, Yellow Claw and LNY TNZ.
LNY TNZ closed out the event, which was surprising to me since usually, the headliners take that slot. It could be because it was the latest set time or it could just be because there aren’t any pretensions among label mates.
Micheal Cervello and LNY TNZ were really good but my personal favorite opener was Cesqeaux! He was the clear standout from the Yellow Claw Barong Family World Tour. In the past, I heard different tracks that he’s done with Yellow Claw and they were always some of my favorites.
Seeing him in person brought that admiration to a new level. I loved his super high energy and the Blood For Mercy American flag bomber he was wearing was on point! I’m not the most patriotic person out there but that night I was all about that jacket!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t really into Moksi. A and I agreed that it wasn’t that we didn’t like their music. We just felt there was a noticeable drop in energy after the fever pitch brought on by Cesqeaux.
Now you can’t talk about the Yellow Claw Barong Family World Tour without talking about the main attraction, can you? I associate Yellow Claw with fun. If I want to get amped up for a night out I’ll put them on. If I want to just ride around with the windows down on a warm summer day I’ll put them on.
Seeing Yellow Claw from an intimate front row vantage point didn’t diminish any of that. I was annoyed by the photographers and the VIP guests but ultimately I still had a really great time. When you see a DJ perform you’re more inclined to just let the music guide and you go from there. You’re not as fussy about the small stuff. It bothered me I didn’t let it ruin our time.
Throughout their set different openers joined in as the new MC gave his all. I admit that seeing someone else take on that role took some getting used to. Still, the set was great and Rochelle from “Shotgun” (below) sang their unreleased track “Lightyears Away” and I was beyond hyped up!
At the Yellow Claw Barong Family World Tour the crowd was fun, the music was fun and we had fun. That’s all I can ask for and that’s what I got.
What do you think of the Yellow Claw Barong Family World Tour?