As I look back on the year 2016, it’s been an emotional one given the onset of middle ageism, the emotional and health issues that come with it, the confusion and uncertainty of this year’s election outcome, and the close call demise of this great band. Its only appropriate my final concert of the year was Dragonette. Royal Blues indeed, torn between the joy of seeing one of my favorite bands back in action (and better than ever), and the painful place their album comes from, and its reflection of the highs and lows this year dished out.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen Joel, Dan and Martina, and a long way since I saw them first perform back in 2009 at the recently closed Santos Party House. Tonight at Warsaw in Greenpoint to a surprisingly light crowd, they opened with the title track of the new album with Martina sporting a mirrored jacket that magically captured the light like a human disco torso. Then a single they released last year, ‘Let The Night Fall’ and the Mike Mago collaboration, ‘Outlines.’ Other highlights from the new album were ‘Sweet Poison,’ ‘Body 2 Body’ and ‘Darth Vader.’ Two tracks on the new album were not performed, but included in the playlist below: ‘Detonate’ and ‘Future Ghost.’ Perhaps they’re just too painful to play, but they’re far and away my favorites on the album.
Long-time fans were treated to a slew of classics including ‘I Get Around,’ ‘Pick Up The Phone’ and ‘Stupid Grin.’ The most ABBA-esque song in their catalog, ‘Ghost,’ was the highlight of their set, with the Kaskade collab ‘Fire In Your New Shoes’ a close second, and the show stopper tracks on their last album, ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Live In This City’ rounded out the best of the set. Despite the weirdness that was 2016, ‘Live In This City’ and ‘Run Run Run’ were poignant reminders of why I live in New York, why bands like Dragonette matter, and how we can find love and optimism through music and dancing. Sometimes that’s all we need for a couple of hours.