Steve Madden Music Summer Series @ Steve Madden LES, May 9, 2012
Clint Zer0 — May 10
I was reminded of yet another reason why I love what I do last night at Steve Madden in the LES. I managed to make it into their opening night of their Steve Madden Music Series, which apparently will happen throughout the summer with up and coming acts like the one I got to see last night, by the name of Karmin.
Karmin’s rise to stardom has reached meteoric levels at this point, with no sign of stopping. They have, as I type this, the #1 pop album on iTunes. Not bad for a pop duo who got famous making cover videos on YouTube. I saw and met them last year, when they performed a few covers and a few originals at Best Buy in Union Square. One year on and they’re on Live With Kelly with a #1 album (called ‘Hello’) to promote. What a difference a year makes.
Honestly, I feel a little bit like Karmin. Maybe that’s why I like them so much (aside from how talented and adorable they are). I was in a different spot last year when we met than this year when I saw them again (I actually saw them a month ago at YRB’s Magazine release but that was only for a second, and they didn’t perform) so I feel just as blessed, as they must feel right now. With that said, onto the event…
I arrived a bit early because I was under the impression that Steve Madden was a small place. I was right. By the time I got there, there was a small line of about 10 people, but there were so many press and staff inside that the place was almost half full! By the time everyone got in it was nice and packed, but it wasn’t impossible to get around. Karmin’s DJ, NYC’s own DJ Kalkutta, was spinning her blend of awesomely selected party vibe tracks, that I’ve come to expect from a nightlife boss like herself. She was on warming it up for about an hour or so before Karmin (Nick and Amy) touched the stage.
After saying hi and thanking everyone for coming out, they went directly into their hit single “Crash Your Party.” Amy is a great singer but at first glance, you probably wouldn’t believe she’s an amazing rapper. Maybe because you didn’t see their video of “Look At Me Now” on YouTube which has like a gazillion views. Lucky for you if you were there last night, because they unleashed their new track “I Told You So,” which happens to be one of my favorites on the new album. Amy raps circles around the beat at a dizzying pace, but her diction is so good that it’s not hard to follow what she’s saying. Actually, I learned most of the words for “Look At Me Now” from watching Karmin’s cover of it!
The next track up was the title track for the album, “Hello.” A sort of ‘we’ve arrived’ dance track that also flexes Amy’s rapping skills, as many of the tracks on the new album do. And don’t worry; they did their popular cover of “Look At Me Now.” I was kind of hoping they would do “6 Foot 7Foot” as well but alas, maybe next time. After dropping their other hit “Broken Hearted,” Karmin decided to try out a new cover they’ve been ‘working on’, by the name of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” by another ‘so hot right now’ artist Gotye. They said they really hadn’t perfected it, but it was rather hard to tell really, because it sounded great, with Karmin’s now famous remix style performance.
After it was all over, DJ Kalkutta jumped back into party mode and some people left; making way more room for people to dance to the music she was playing! The great thing about Karmin is just how much they absolutely enjoy where they’re at and what they’re doing. They came out to meet with some of their closest friends, who were essentially just fans, but Nick and Amy make everyone they talk to seem like an old friend they haven’t seen in a while. There’s a genuine niceness when you talk to them that you rarely see in the music business with artists, even ones that are relative newcomers.
It was a great and well-put together event by Steve Madden and Spin Magazine, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the shows. I’d love to see whom else they have this summer for the Music Series!