REVIEW | Roosevelt at U Street Music Hall

Roosevelt
With Roosevelt’s latest tour stopping at some well-established destinations, including The Governors Ball Music Festival 2017, I was excited to see Roosevelt perform a sold out show at U Street Music Hall this weekend. Roosevelt’s performance was a cross between popular modern chillwave artists, such as Cut Copy or Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and what I imagine it was like in the disco dance halls of the 1970s (based on stories my parents have shared of their late nights at Copacabana and Studio 54 in the thick of the 1970s NYC disco era). It is refreshing to see a revitalization of disco, resurrected by nu-disco artists such as Roosevelt.

I knew the crowd at UHall was destined to dance as soon as the band made their way on stage: you don’t witness a drummer repping a sweat band on stage every day! The ensemble had a polished, synchronized aesthetic comprising Marius Lauber (producer) on guitar, vox, and synth, accompanied by a band replete with drums, bass, and a keyboardist. The whole club recognized his music and sang along to most of the tracks off of his 2016 self-titled album, Roosevelt.

The highlight of the night was when Roosevelt performed their hit single, “Night Moves.” Not only is the song particularly infectious, but also as the song was performed live, my friend shared his story of discovering Roosevelt by coincidence. Apparently, as he was searching for Bob Seger’s 1976 hit “Night Moves,” he accidentally listened to Roosevelt’s track instead. My friend was instantly hooked with Roosevelt’s infectious single; so much so that he was compelled to buy tickets for himself and his girlfriend. I spotted many friends and colleagues in attendance at the show, most of which I’ve known to be creative types and purveyors of up-and-coming music.

All the songs in the set-list flowed impeccably and harmoniously, resulting in a packed crowd pulsing to a locked-in, groovy rhythm section augmented by the vibrant melodies. Roosevelt also took attention to detail and musicality: weaving in percussive elements such as woodblocks, cowbells, and rhythmic arps. I couldn’t help but feel electrified by Roosevelt. This is the perfect music to kick-off the sizzling summer months that lie ahead.


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