The evening condensed at Rumsey Playfield, one of those Summer Stage Central Park venues I keep hearing about starting in May every year but never quite make it out to. This time would be different, as my companion and I had secured attendance at Rudimental & Emeli Sandee’s concert in the waning days of summer. After a no-muss, no-fuss security/ticketing algorithm, we breached the gates and nestled in a comfy place at the back of the crowd. Rudimental was on stage and before I had time to decide whether I wanted a drink or not, they busted into “Hell Could Freeze,” the first of many tracks from their album, released on this side of the pond at the beginning of the month. The group was energetic and grateful to be there, which meant for a sweet show.
The melancholy vocals of Not Giving In came up, and the crowd roared with approval. I was frankly surprised as I assumed everyone was just there for the headliner, but the volume of support for the single made me smile. The track was done better live than I thought it would be. It’s hard to get that many different elements in sync live, but they made it happen. The audience was moving and even though we still had an hour to go before the headliner came on, the crowd was pretty packed. Talk about an excellent opener.
Rudimental asked if the crowd was ready for some house music, and to my delight Free came on and sadly, Emeli didn’t come out to do guest vocals on the track she was featured on, but who knows, perhaps we were in for a treat once she came on later tonight. Waiting All Night, the piece de resistance of the Rudimental debut album followed, and the crowd surged. I actually felt bad that I assumed I was one of 5 people in NYC who had heard/liked this song, because it was very, very well received. As if we’d been expecting it impatiently. But, as the sky turned a gorgeous shade of pink over the park, the chorus kicked in and provided those of us who showed up early with one of those picturesque summer moments in Gotham City. A beautiful evening, some amazing music, a cold drink in your hand, and people Instagramming the ever-living fuck out of it all.
More Than Anything & Feel The Love rounded out their 50 minutes on stage, and they managed to round out their set with an entire crowd singing the chorus to Feel The Love. While a few people were just kinda winging it, aren’t we all these days? Rudimental was on point their entire set, their back-up vocalists did what they needed to, the trumpet, drums & bass guitar licked liberal amounts of ass, and it all came together in a really beautiful way. Great work, can’t wait to see them headline their own show the next time they’re on this side of the pond. Check out their debut album sampler on Soundcloud. And if you’re a fan of drum & bass and they’re in town, don’t miss it.
This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.