LIVE: Couch Sessions 5 Year Anniversary Party with Aloe Blacc, Peter Hadar, and Kimberly Nichole
by Winston "Stone" Ford
PHOTOS BY: Joann Gomez, MLLT Photography (@MLLTPhotography). Please Support.
It was a beautiful summer night in New York’s best borough as The Couch Sessions invaded the Southpaw performance venue for our 5 Year Anniversary Party.
Billed as a celebration and a hat tip to our largest market, we worked tirelessly to bring some of the best new an established talent to a stage in a venue featuring some of the city’s most known tastemakers, influencers and fans.
First up was Kimberly Nichole, the sultry Harlem-based songstress appeared on stage in an interesting one piece which most certainly commanded my attention. But forget the outfit, it was her set that really won everyone over.
It only took one song to get the crowd moving. Her rendition of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
From that point on, the crowd was putty in her hands, as she ripped through tracks from her latest album The Yellow Brick Journey. Her live set is beyond epic, and the indie rock edge that she brings to the table flips the whole concept of R&B on its head. If she comes to your town, go. Nuff said.
Next up was Peter Hadar, who has already cemented himself as one of the best live acts in New York City. Although him and his band The Long Kiss Goodnight have had residencies in several Manhattan Clubs.
Arriving on stage with wine in hand, his combination of electro soul and solid live band (including the two cutie backup singers) rocked the crowd. Unfortunately I was unable to see much of his performance, however from the reaction of those in the audience (and from prior knowledge), Hadar killed it as usual.
Without a pause headliner Aloe Blacc came on stage.
As my friend DJ Still Life noted, Aloe has found his lane. Even though he’s had an R&B album and even a hip-hop album under his belt, it’s his new found fascination with 70s soul that is going to get him recognized in the mainstream.
The Stone’s Throw artist’s set was tight, polished, and clean, just like his idols from back in the day. The band–complete with a horn section and backup singers–went through several tracks from Aloe’s newest album, Good Things, including the tracks “Femme Fatale,” “Loving You Is Killing Me” and the ubiquitous “I Need A Dollar”.
What really won me over was Aloe’s live rendition of the track Billie Jean, which has been circulating around the Internet for a hot minute, and when the band played all of the songs on their setlist, Aloe led the crowd into an impromptu rendition of Stevie’s My Cheri Amor. Brilliant.
As the show ended and the crowd filed out (and we head to the Party Bus) I looked back on the party that took so much to put together. It was a great time had by all, and we hope to do more in the future.