Damian Lazarus Spellbinds With Get Lost At The Knockdown Center [Event Review]
Known the world over for his critically acclaimed discography, ability behind the decks and several globally renowned event brands, Damian Lazarus is by far one of the most influential names in the world of house and techno. So, when word broke that the Crosstown Rebels label-head would be bringing his Get Lost party to New York City for the first time, we were reasonably ecstatic. Spread out over two days, Get Lost brought together an eclectic and impressive array of artists to fill out the expansive, interconnected confines of The Knockdown Center.
All Photos by: aLIVE Coverage Words by: Jabari LeGendre & Ximena Salcedo
Perhaps one of the most underrated venues in the five boroughs, The Knockdown Center was a phenomenal environment for this innovative event. By combining cutting-edge production along with some of the most well-respected artists in their respective genres, Damian Lazarus concocted a gathering that pushed the boundaries of what electronic music events can be. That is perhaps Day Zero founder’s greatest ability, to redefine the way we consume and interact with music and art.
Beyond his legendary status as a performer and curator, perhaps Lazarus’ greatest strength is his ability to cultivate a tight-knit community with a vibrant culture. No matter where the London native goes, whether it be Tulum, Ibiza or Queens, a beautiful contingent of sonic voyagers is sure to follow. Last weekend’s festivities were as much about the music and the art as it was about the global family that Damian continues to shepherd into new and bold frontiers.
Friday night marked the exciting debut of Get Lost Live, a refreshing new element to the event which focused largely on live acts. Kelsey Lu set things off with a sultry and smoldering performance that captivated the crowd from start to finish. The songstress glided across the stage with ease and grace while her ethereal voice filled The Knockdown Center’s cavernous main room. With a surreal magnetism that kept the audience entranced, Lu flexed her vocal talents ebbing and flowing through her set as live visuals of the singer streamed behind the stage. The deeply emotive performance felt like a sonic confession of sorts and left us perplexed, enticed and filled with catharsis.
Beautiful Swimmers took the stage and brought the event’s energy up another level as the duo departed from the live music motif and returned to the decks. Delicious tribal beats and deep house tunes pumped through the speakers as the discerning crowd let loose and allowed themselves to get lost in the rhythm.
Mashrou Leila received the loudest reception of the night. The Beirut quartet took the stage to a raucous reaction and from the onset, their performance seemed to enthuse the entire event with a visceral energy. With an array of live instrumentation and vocals, Mashrou Leila created an immersive and extremely personal experience. Lead singer Hamed Sinno’s powerful voice whipped the crowd into a frenzy as Carl Geges worked the drums and Firas Abou Fakher bounced between keyboards and guitar. Violinist Haig Papazian brought an unexpected but delightfully refreshing element as well. The band completely embdoied the ethos of Get Lost Live, using their multi-faceted instrumentation to create an unparalleled experience.
Saturday brought an expanded lineup and it was time for attendees to truly Get Lost. The Knockdown Center was pushed to its limits as every nook and cranny of the complex was filled with music and art. The event evolved into a mini music festival with that familiar sense of wonder and adventure ever-present as we bounced from stage to stage and experiencing all the different environments each stage brought.