Justin Charles

Knife Party has made their way through New York City quite a lot over the past year, and instead of over saturating the market, they seemed to have developed a devoted following of fans willing to throw their money down to see some hardcore electro house. It didn’t hurt that the duo brought along an amazing supporting cast of artists to take the stage before and after their sets. But no matter how many times you have seen Knife Party before, I don’t think anyone was ready for craziness that went down at Pier 94.

If you’ve never been, Pier 94 is essentially a giant warehouse, bigger than most of New York City concert venues, and if abandoned, it would probably make a mind-blowing warehouse party. But this warehouse was anything but abandoned, as Pacha’s production team souped this place up with a full fledged lighting rig, complete with high beam lasers that shot across the crowd. Many “pop up venues”, or spaces that aren’t traditionally made for dance music, end up putting on subpar shows. This was not the case – Pier 94 was fantastic, and should be a welcome addition to New York City’s EDM venues.

Musically, there was nothing to complain about. The line-up included HARD founder Destructo, doing a somewhat rare east coast performance, Brooklyn based trap producer Baauer, electro DJ Style of Eye, as well as up and coming stars Kill The Noise and Tommy Trash, in addition to headliners Knife Party. Baauer was the first DJ to really get the crowd pumping – trap music, which is essentially electronic bassed hip hop beats, is a genre on the rise, and Baauer’s Brooklyn roots brought together familiarity with a great set to create an awesome hour of music.

Style of Eye took to the stage next, and while he may not have garnered the same reaction as Baauer, he was more than capable of keeping the party flowing. Kill The Noise was the real star of the undercard, raising the energy level with his unique blend of dubstep, leading up to Knife Party’s entrance.

It seems like no matter how many times you see Knife Party, they never disappoint. They have performed at nearly every major festival, have played many of New York’s biggest venues, and still seem to go out there and absolutely kill it every time. Now that Pendulum are on seemingly permanent hiatus, Knife Party is the sole project of Gareth McGrillen and Rob Swire, and it really shows in their production output. Knife Party has put out some excellent songs throughout their career and their latest EP, Rage Valley, is solid to front to back. With an hour and a half set, the addition of these songs give them a much larger catalogue to draw from. The other thing that keeps Knife Party original are their VIPs, which stand for ‘variance in productions’. Every so often, Knife Party will take one of their older songs, and re-arrange them, add new parts, drops, etc. in order to create a highly involved remix of their own songs.

This practice makes a huge difference. Many other producers use bootlegs, or mash ups, to create the same freshness in their sets – but their is something to be said about actually going in and re-making entire sections of these tracks that stands out. The highlight of Knife Party’s set was probably their ‘Internet Friends VIP’, which added an awesome drum and bass aspect to the duo’s original hit. The rest of the set was exactly what you’d expect from Knife Party – high energy, hard hitting, and lots of fun. Event organizers prudently saved Tommy Trash to close the show down, keeping the party going all night.

What can we take from this? Don’t miss a Knife Party show – they are always changing, always improving, and always awesome. Pier 94 is an awesome venue for a show – keep ’em coming. And Pacha knows how to party – their production values were awesome. All in all, high quality stuff here.

photo courtesy of Knife Party

Knife Party at Pier 94:

Knife Party at Pier 94 Trailer: