Photo by Tore Saetre (Under License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))
Gus Dapperton is on tour again for the release of his new album Henge (2023). During their performance in the Islington Assembly Hall on the 8th november, he and his band were able to create a thrilling atmosphere, encouraging the crowd to move along with them throughout the show.
Known to give a lot of importance to the visual aspect of his work; and to direct his own music videos, the artist delivered a show clearly meant for the eyes as well as the ears.
When Gus Dapperton’s band entered Islington Assembly Hall’s stage on Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly me to the moon’, the tone of the show was already set. All dressed in dandy, classy clothes, the band danced together until Gus Dapperton himself finally appeared to join in, showing the clear alchemy that ties him to his band. Dancing worked as a thread throughout the concert, Dapperton’s performance being accompanied by charleston and twist moves as he sang and played the guitar in an almost Elvis-like impression.
From the first song onwards, a growing energy began to seize the public. As the show went on, even the seated balcony space began to move, with spectators standing up and going behind the rows to jump around. This lively atmosphere was widely due to the fact that most of Dapperton’s renditions on stage were almost rock versions of themselves, the artists on stage interpreting them in a much more instrumental and rhythmic way than the original recordings. While some famous titles such as ‘Prune, you talk funny’ or his 2023 single ‘Don’t let me down’ were easily recognisable, some others such as ‘Give it to me straight’ took a whole other appearance, making the performance unique and dynamic.
More than his electrifying energy, the 26-year-old New Yorker demonstrated a playfulness while singing and dancing, showing his comfort and easiness on stage. This immediately set a proximity between the artist and his public, a closeness that contributed to the show’s sense of intimacy, as he was not only performing for fans but for friends as well. The complicity among the musicians was also a delight to witness, increasing the hominess and cheerfulness of the moment.
With the lights setting a sometimes calm, sometimes energetic atmosphere, the dance shared by Dapperton and his keyboard player and last but not least, the final song: an interpretation of the Beatles’ ‘Twist and shout’, the performance offered a pleasant balance between contemporary glam, indie pop and older, classical rock’n’roll. This Wednesday night at Islington, both the public and the performers enjoyed a lively night of genres, dance interludes and powerful renditions of Gus Dapperton’s well-known successes, making clear that the artist can perform as well as write and compose music.
Edited by Lucy Blackmur, Music Editor