DARKSIDE: Live Review and Video

Darkside, a collaboration of electronic musician Nicolas Jaar and Brooklyn instrumentalist Dave Harrington, summoned a packed house at Terminal 5 last month, and for good reason. The progressive dance duo has been a notable presence on the scene ever since their first release as Darkside, the three-song Darkside EP, which was incredibly well-received by critics and fans alike. Such high expectations so early in a band’s career can often have horrible effects on critical reception of future releases, but Darkside, it seems, was not phased by the challenge. Darkside’s debut album Psychic was released in October 2013. In the five months since then, the duo have accumulated enough of a following to fill every corner of Terminal 5‘s 3000-capacity New York City space on a Saturday night.

Darkside Terminal 5
photo by Emily Williams

Now, take all that I told you into consideration, then add the fact that there are maybe two paragraphs worth of lyrics in their entire debut album. Two paragraphs tops.

Did you do that? Ok, good. Now add the fact that Darkside’s audience was mostly sober (you can take “mostly sober” to mean that everyone was 10% drunk or that 10% of everyone was drunk – it was probably both).* This usually isn’t too relevant when judging a concert, but when the music has no lyrics, it says a bit more. And when you also take into account that this band is in the genre of electronic/dance music, and that this was a Saturday night, a sober audience says a lot about the audience’s level of appreciation for the music.

*Okay, correction: they seemed mostly sober. No one puked on my shoes. 

Darkside Terminal 5
photo by Emily Williams

Now I know I already made you add two times too many for a music review, but I really can’t leave out of the equation one more aspect of the show. The duo also created a light show, which was clearly customized to compliment the music. A giant mirror reflected the two artists as fog machines obscured their presence and washed hazy waves over the crowd. All were mystified. This last element was probably the most noticeably awe-inspiring in observing the expressions of the crowd. The light show was a perfect representation of Darkside’s appeal; their sound subdues you, yet distinctly engages your attention. Something tells us this won’t be the last we see of Darkside.


Check out a video of Darkside live below and tell us what you think in the comments.

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