Fans of Sofi Tukker are familiar with music videos dripping with bright colours and melodies boldly defying genres.
Their stunning visuals, energetic eccentricity, and bold experimentation characterise their digital work, and their live performance did not disappoint.
The New York-based duo redefines classic dancepop conventions beyond their sound alone. The musical dynamic between Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern is fluid - neither is exclusively responsible for vocals or instrumentals as both musicians occupy an ever-shifting combination of different domains at any one time. This manifested in an incredible live performance that claimed the title of one of the best shows I’d ever seen.
Sofi Tukker started their set with the first few bars of their smash hit 'Drinkee' playing on a loop. Their setup was a scene straight out of one of their music videos, paying homage to their junglepop vibes with tropical plants, palm trees, and plastic shrubbery laced with neon lights. Their most impressive prop was their Book Tree, a huge sculpture looming in the middle of the stage supporting eight large screens. Each individual screen shone a different colour and played a different sampled track when hit with a drumstick.
The set design brilliantly wove surreal, colourful lighting into the stage itself, allowing the band to perform with the versatility of going with or without the venue’s rigged lights. The band’s wardrobe contributed to the entire aesthetic, bringing more bright colours onto the already-glowing stage. The explosion of colour and smoke and lights and shrubbery was mesmerising. Before they had even begun their set, Sofi Tukker had already welcomed us into their universe.
As the duo took their places on stage, 'Drinkee' faded out and into their iconic bop, 'Fuck They'. Soon enough, bodies started dancing along and the crowd joined the performers in singing one of their most famous songs. We were all hypnotised.
Their fluid performance dynamic was impressive - they each took turns with strings, vocals, and the Book Tree. Even live, Sofi Tukker proved to be so much more than your typical dance pop group.
Both Sophie and Tucker had incredible stage presences. They were enthralling - individually and together. They both hyped up the crowd, and they riffed off each other very well. They had an amazing chemistry. They moved around the stage and weaved into the audience, keeping their energy high and their music constant. The passion they had for their music was clear and their enthusiasm was contagious. They were having a great time, and they didn’t take themselves too seriously. The entire venue was under their spell. They interacted with their audience consistently throughout their set, even getting the crowd to follow the choreography from their early 2016 hit 'Awoo' at one point.
As a long time fan of the duo, their entire show was everything I could have ever hoped for. Their set was selected cleverly, taking their audience through a seamless journey of their discography. They transitioned expertly between the distinct vibes and moods their music exists in, starting us off with familiarity and exhilaration with their earlier work. We were then built up into a fever pitch, getting lost in their rhythm, before we came down gently to their more somber, recent work. Sofi Tukker concluded their set with their latest hit 'Fantasy', and even now, a week later, it still kind of feels like a dream.