In a world full of formulaic, un-original dance music, Parov Stelar is a true innovator. The Austrian producer is credited for popularizing the genre of ‘electro swing’ through over a decade of consistently fun and bouncy releases. While he’s charted in his home country of Austria, as well as around Europe, Parov Stelar is a true example of the power of the internet, as he sold out two nights at New York City’s large PlayStation Theater [formerly Best Buy] in Times Square without ever having a single on the American charts.

For this relatively rare New York City appearance, the producer was joined by a full band – drums, saxophone, trumpet, vocals, and more, re-creating the sounds of Stelar’s best studio tracks. With a syncopated bass beat keeping everything together in the background, the live instruments and vocals provide an energy that a laptop and turntables would have a tough time matching. With breaks in between songs for applause and a live singer leading the way, the show was definitely more ‘concert’ than ‘dance club’.

That distinction never stopped the crowd from busting out their best 1920’s dance moves. The PlayStation Theater has a stadium style seating in the back, but the crowd packed the floor to the brim, twisting and twirling around, and roaring in approval when the horns got their time to shine. There is something inherently infectious about Parov Stelar’s music – maybe it’s the sounds of jazz and swing, but the songs feel familiar and you can’t help but dance. It’s the kind of music that you can throw on at a party and instantly get people moving, so when you have a full set of music with a capacity crowd, there’s really no holding back a giant dance party. 

While Parov Stelar, in various iterations, extensively tours Europe, his American appearances are all too rare. Hopefully, playing to two completely sold out, turn away crowds at one of the city’s largest venues will encourage him and the band to come stateside a little more often. He seems like a perfect fit for the summer festival scene.