Saturday, October 24, 2015

Disclosure at Madison Square Garden

Howard Lawrence
Howard Lawrence and his younger brother Guy Lawrence grew up in a musical household in Reigate, England. Howard started playing bass at the age of eight and Guy started playing the drums at the age of three. They now comprise Disclosure, an electronic music duo. The duo had their first UK hit in 2012 with "Latch," which featured Sam Smith on vocals. Disclosure sustained its momentum into 2013: the duo was voted into the BBC Radio 1xtra 'Hot Ten For 2013' and scored two consecutive top 10 hit singles in "White Noise" with AlunaGeorge and "You & Me" with Eliza Doolittle. Disclosure released its second studio album, Caracal, on September 25, 2015.

Headlining for the first time at Madison Square Garden tonight, Disclosure brought a high-tech visual presentation. As the set began, each brother stepped into a u-shaped bank of electronic equipment that included keyboards, computers, samplers, MIDI controllers, cymbals and drums. Guy was stationed on the left, mostly playing drum pads and keyboards; Howard, on the right, twiddled with dials and occasionally reached for a bass guitar to play a steady line. Four times they were joined by guest vocalists from their albums — not the A-listers, however, but instead Eliza Doolittle on "You & Me," Kwabs on "Willing & Able," Lion Babe on "Hourglass" and Brendan Reilly on "Moving Mountains." These vocalists were as much visual candy as the light show behind the performers, but did not stand out as musical highlights. The trouble with the show was that with much of it pre-programmed, including the vocals of the A-listers, one had to wonder if the tracks were backing the musicians or vice versa. Members of the audience who simply wanted to hear the hits got what they came for, especially with the final encore, "Latch." Those who were hoping for a more cutting edge live experience may have been disappointed.

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