I arrived at the Paradise Rock Club thirty minutes after the publicized door opening time, and the line was still wrapped around the block. The crowd ranged from college students to people in their thirties to die-hard fans who obviously were not from the Boston area (yes, I met a woman who flew from California to see the performance). Overall, though, the crowd was hyped for the dynamic duo, AlunaGeorge, to dazzle everyone with their performance.
At 9:15 p.m., two men enter the stage as AlunaGeorge’s unadvertised opening performance. One of the men introduced himself as Cleopold, and the other man was his accompanist on the drums. Los Angeles based Australian singer-songwriter Cleopold had just released his debut EP, “Altitude & Oxygen,” just a week before the performance, so they played most of those songs as well as a few new songs he’d been working on. To open an act like AlunaGeorge,I expected an act that would to keep the audience’s energy up, because little do they know they’ll be waiting another hour and a half to see the lead act. I felt that there was a lack of audience connection, whether it be encouraging the audience to dance or even just making eye contact. Overall the music itself was catchy; it followed the floaty, electric-pop vibe, which almost paralleled an 80’s groovy feel.
They started off the night with songs off their EP, including “The Space Between,” which lightened up the audience a bit, and “Cleveland,” which made everyone swoon for the drummer from his minute and a half drum solo. My favorite song of the night was “Down In Flames,” which happens to be their most popular song on Spotify with over two million listens (alright, they’re more famous than I thought). I was disappointed, though, because the recorded version of the EP has some extremely catchy tunes, but the tone of his voice and energy of his presence did not communicate his talent to the audience.
The set ended, and the stage was prepared for AlunaGeorge while the venue becomes more and more packed with eager fans. Finally, at 10:40 p.m., the ambience music faded and the lights went out. The energy was instantly built back up with cheering as the mixer and drummer take their stations and Aluna, dolled up in her sequined basketball shorts and halter top, owned the stage. AlunaGeorge are an electronic music duo from London, formed by Aluna Francis (vocals/songwriting) and George Reid (production/instrumentals).
While I would assume that the performance would only consist of the duo, Aluna and George, I was pleasantly surprised to find a drummer on stage, which added to the energy and vibe of the performance. Immediately, Aluna broke into “Attracting Flies” from the 2013 debut album Body Music. And, needless to say, the album title perfectly encapsulates her music because the audience was immediately on their feet and feeling the music. There was some sort of magic when Aluna was getting lost in the music, it was almost hard to not join her and dance the night away. The energy only increased through the night as the band seamlessly played their hypnotizing hits, including “Automatic,” “Your Drums, Your Love,” and “My Blood.”
One of the most unforgettable moments of the night was Aluna’s call into the audience, “Where my ladies in the house?” Which, of course, followed an incredible amount of screaming. “Who’s in control?” More screaming. “When I say ‘who’s in control?’, you say ‘I’m in control!’” This repeated a few deafening (but fun!) times, and Aluna went right into “I’m in Control,” a hit that originally features DJ and singer/songwriter Popcaan. This wasn’t the only collaboration that they performed, as AlunaGeorge is featured in many electronic hits; they surprised the crowd with “White Noise” by Disclosure and “To Ü” by Skrillex, Diplo and Jack Ü.
If I were to describe AlunaGeorge’s performance in one word, it would be “captivating.” They never lost the audience’s attention, whether they slowed the vibe down for their recent release “I Remember” or if they turned the Paradise Rock Club into a complete dance club for a remix of “Best Be Believing.”
They encore with “You Know You Like It,” the perfect ending to the night that fully captured how far the electric duo has come. Aluna Francis and George Reid first released their single of “You Know You Like It” in April 2012, which benchmarks their breakthrough in the electronic music world. Now, it’s June 2016, and hundreds of voices are singing along to their #1 song with Aluna herself. It was powerful and heartwarming when Aluna stopped singing, in complete awe, because her fans were singing their hearts out to each and every word. I’m thrilled to have been able to experience such a charismatic performance, and I can’t wait to keep up with their new releases.
– Juliette P.