Live Review: VV Brown at DC9, Washington DC – 19 February 2010

By on Monday, 22nd February 2010 at 2:00 pm

As we walked up the stairs to the main floor of DC9, the loud booming of Editors’ synthtastic ‘Papillon’ greeted us. I could tell this was going to be one great night. To be fair, Liberation Dance Party is always full of English electropop, but this time, VV Brown was in the house. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how many people in Washington knew who she was or what songs she was famous for; a lot of people go to Liberation for the open bar and to socialise, not necessarily dance or pay attention to a live act, if there is one. But I was proud of my D.C brethren for selling out DC9 and for the amazing, raucous reception they gave Brown and her band, and deservedly so for their short but high energy set.

VV Brown is one gorgeous woman, now joining Twiggy and Danii Minogue as a face on Marks and Spencer’s future adverts. So I’m not sure why she chose to obscure her face with a glittery, feathered mask. But I’ll admit it did lend an air of celebration to the festivities. Whether singing into her microphone or megaphone, beating on a conga drum, shaking a jingle stick, or playing keyboards, she looked right at home on the DC9 stage. She mainly played songs from her debut album, ‘Travelling Like the Light’, released last year, but there were some surprises. Brown asked the audience if they liked hip hop, and would it be okay if they played a cover of ‘Best I Ever Had’ by American star Drake. Was she kidding? This was Washington after all, chockful of urban radio stations. The fans ate this cover up.

‘Shark in the Water’, Brown’s upbeat love song that was supposed to be the closer of the night, became a massive crowd singalong, two boys next to me particularly keen on singing along to the chorus loudly and looking like they were going to make a move to jump on stage to touch Brown. When fans cheered for an encore, Brown and her band returned to the stage and played a song that she admitted really was an improvisation – I don’t think any of them had expected to receive such kudos from the audience. Her post-gig Tweets indicated that she was really touched by the reaction to her music and I’m glad: their set was absolutely blinding.

Editor’s note: this review would have been a lot more detailed, had an overzealous fan not snatched my notes in a fit of urgency at the end of the show. Mary Beth surmised that he grabbed the closest piece of paper – my notes – in order to get an autograph from VV. What an odd incident! Note to VV Brown fanatic: if you still have my notes, I’d like them back please. You have my contact information, please get in touch. Thank you.

On the train ride home, Mary Beth and I recalled the great songs that were played at the dance before VV Brown played, because it really was a night of English pop/dance epicness. Bill Spieler told me the complete list should go online at the dance party’s Web site sometime later this week, but I’ve included a list of the great songs we could remember. So after the cut: in addition to the usual photos, I’ve included a list of songs that were played on the night so you can have a feel for the epicness.

VV Brown Photos:

Selection of songs played at Liberation Dance Party (19/02/10 edition):
Editors – “Papillon”
White Lies – “Death”
the Drums – “I Feel Stupid”
Ellie Goulding – “Under the Sheets”
Friendly Fires – “Hold On” (Holy Ghost! cover)
Delphic – “Halcyon”
the Courteeners – “You Overdid It Doll”
Marina and the Diamonds – “Hollywood”
Florence and the Machine – “You’ve Got the Love” (the Source / Candi Staton cover)
Passion Pit – “Sleepyhead”
Ladyhawke – “Magic”
Plan B – “She Said”
the Asteroids Galaxy Tour – “Around the Bend”
Friendly Fires – “On Board”
Lissy Trullie – “Ready for the Floor” (Hot Chip cover)
De le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – “Get Better”
Black Kids – “Look at Me”
Miike Snow – “Silvia”

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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