It seems that the Times Square based Best Buy Theater is the new home to some of the most innovative acts in the electronic music and jam band realm. This past weekend, Gramatik took over the NYC venue for a funk-filled two-night run complete with great beats, fantastic live instrumentation, and even some surprise guest appearances. To top it all off, both shows included free official after parties for all ticket holders at the nightclub slake a few blocks away.

(Photos By Corey Regensburger)

(Russ Liquid)

The second night of a great two-night run featured sets from DJs Branx, Marvel Years, Russ Liquid, and Slow Magic. Branx, Marvel Years, and Russ Liquid all threw down short yet solid opening sets, each displaying a taste of their signature style for the sold-out crowd to devour. However there was a noticeable change in the room as soon as Slow Magic took the stage.

(Slow Magic)

The energy surged through the crowd when this mysterious person in a colorful light-up fox mask stormed onto the stage. The crowd was hypnotized from the moment he began live mixing and banging on the drums, as if they were synced to his motions and guided by his music. For the next hour, everyone was hooked on his dreamy and intoxicating synth loops, dancing through every base drop and ethereal break.


But no sooner after the trance had been broken did the crowd erupt as Gramatik hit the stage with guitarist Andrew Block as well as Russ Liquid on saxophone and guest trumpet player. Audience members completely went crazy as he seamlessly mixed tracks from #DigitalFreedom and No Way Out with live instrumentation and booming bass. Gramatik indulged the crowd with many covers such as Destiny’s Childs’ “Say My Name”, which everyone seemed to enjoy. The versatile producer was in his element on the Best Buy Theater Stage, directing his fellow live musicians to take incredibly fun and intricate guitar and horn solos over some infectious and catchy loops.


(Gramatik & Andrew Block)

(Russ Liquid On The Sax)

For an encore set, Gramatik came out to the crowd with a few tricks up his sleeve. After an energetic and sexy rendition of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” with a guest vocalist/break-dancer, he brought out Orlando Napier to swoon the crowd, and followed up by bringing out ½ of Break Science and Lettuce’s famed drummer Adam Deitch to jam along for the last few tracks.  

(Orlando Napier)

(Adam Deitch)

Though Gramatik featured a ton of talent during the show itself, the after party continued to bring the heat through the later hours of the night. Marvel Years took the stage once again upstairs in the Red Room at Slake, and further impressed any fans who made the trek with his upbeat, psychedelic yet catchy spinning skills. With Russ Liquid and others from the 2 night extravaganza already up on stage, the ExMag crew came out and served up a surprise set of their unique and experimental style, playing trip-hop grooves to soothe the late night crowd. Overall, Gramatik and his Lowtemp crew threw a fantastic party during his two-night stay in New York, filled with incredible talent that showed off his presence in the current music scene. It was definitely a weekend to remember for anyone that was fortunate enough to be there, and I for one hope he decides to do it again soon!

Check out cool scenes from the show in the videos below:

– Marisa Frydman (@musicalmarisa)