In dark times music has always been a safe space, and today that’s no different. We need music now more than ever it seems, as a crutch to carry us through through the chaos. Performing at the cozy Bowery Ballroom, Louis the Child delivered a euphoric set, defiant, and confident in the power of music as a tool for protest and healing.
Taking the stage November 9th, 2016, Louis the Child was playing to a young audience in New York City, mostly still stunned from the prior day’s events. People were angry, scared, some elated, some indifferent. Donning red, white, & blue USA hockey jerseys the two teens unified the crowd with Kendrick Lamar’s soothing chants of “Its Gon’ Be Alright”, before dropping it into their own pulsing bass remix using their signature sound. The crowd moved in unison, energetic, and letting out all at once shouts of, “It’s Gon’ Be Alright” loud and joyously.
In a brief thirty second intermission the duo shared some political musings before unleashing a seamless stream of smooth contemporary electronic mixes and remixes with an eclectic blend of influences from hip-hop, to R&B and all other sorts of international genres. Of particular inspiration to the duo are their hometown Chicago heroes Kanye West, and Chance the Rapper, whose songs they remixed frequently over the course of the set. Chance the Rapper’s “Blessings” was among the best of these, calling on the audience to participate in an active form of gratitude when it might seem like there isn’t too much to be grateful for. But there always is, and Louis the Child’s music revels in this fact.
Their smash hit “It’s Strange” from the Fifa ’16 soundtrack served as the perfect finale to a night that featured other hits “Fire”, “Weekend”, and “Love is Alive”. Overall the night provided a window of escapism into an optimistic mindset. It’s going to be tough to hold on to that hopeful sound for the next few years, but it is imperative that we attempt to, and that is Louis the Child’s mission, “music that makes you happy”. It is also imperative that we continue to make music that provides a safe and expressive space for artists, Louis the Child upholds this long tradition through the creation of their unique and expressive art and live performances.