1. Holy cow, there’s a lot more Disclosure fans out in Las Vegas than I previously thought—though I remember thinking the same thing when tens of thousands of people crowded the Outdoor Stage to see the young English duo at Coachella last spring. Even with an outrageously expensive ticket price—attendees paid $65 for an emerging act with only one album to its name—the Brooklyn Bowl drew the biggest crowd I’ve seen among my fat handful of concert experiences at the Linq. A bombardment of last-minute promotion clearly helped—as did the band’s postponing of its original April date, as its single “Latch,” with singer-of-the-moment Sam Smith, has since crashed the Top 10.
2. Given the audience swell and the band’s signature sound—call it a hybrid of two predominantly British dance music genres: deep house and garage/two-step, leaning heavily on the American R&B influences of the latter—the vibe was crowded, sweaty (which contrasted the usual chill of the venue’s giant ceiling fans and air-conditioning system), minimally flashy, very late-night/afterhours and transportive, recalling a basement club in New York City or a downtown dance spot in San Francisco. In other words: nothing like the Vegas nightlife status quo. And crowd energy remained high throughout the 85-minute performance, save a few midtempo and minimal stretches. “Know how I know this a good party?” asked Guy Lawrence, one half of the twosome. “Bits of the ceiling keep falling on me!”
3. Though I spotted a few attendees closing their eyes and losing themselves in the songs’ grooves, throbs and seductive vocal samples, most honed in on Guy and Howard’s performance, each brother surrounded by a hi-tech, multi-instrument setup. Guy alternated between percussive apparatus both digital and analog, while Howard mostly stuck to keyboards and his bass guitar. Rounded out by plenty of samples (especially vocals, since none of the guest singers joined the tour), the set was as balanced between traditional and computerized live performance as electronic music gets in 2014, yet arranged with uninterrupted segues to sound more like a DJ set. Highlights included the booming but sultry “Confess to Me,” the jaunty “White Noise” and the closing “Latch,” where the observance of the boisterous audience was far more interesting than that of the musicians, who seemed to mostly program the hit.
4. It would’ve been a shame for the bar to squander the crowd buzz after “Latch”—and the entire performance, for that matter—so the venue reverted to nightclub mode, with a DJ (whose name I didn’t catch) pumping out jams that had that similar early-1990s, Club MTV-esque sound. And the still-hopping main floor crowd was more than happy to hear updates of pre-EDM anthems such as Corona’s 1993 radio jam, “The Rhythm of the Night.”
5. Some hitches on Brooklyn Bowl’s end: Only one staffer was scheduled to check IDs, affix wristbands and scan tickets. For a show with such a large turnout—lines snaked inside and outside the venue before anyone even reached the gentleman in question—this was a misstep. Also, the show was inexplicably moved up to 7:30 p.m. just hours before doors were to open, and yet the band still didn’t go on until 9:05 p.m.—which made me wonder if the venue just wanted to sell more booze. At $8 a beer and $65 a ticket, plenty of ground could be made up should any of the other electronic music shows this week underperform.