Photography by Brett Gilbert
On the night of February 11th, The Bluebird was packed in anticipation of the New York duo, Brasstracks. The band is headed by Ivan Jackson and Conor Rayne who met while they were students at the Manhattan School of Music. They are currently on the spring leg of The Vibrant tour, visiting across the U.S. to deliver dynamic and danceable brass-driven music, with Kemba and Pell.
Hailing from the Bronx, Kemba opened for Brasstracks with a soulful set. The setting felt immediately more intimate and in the audience, people were swaying back and forth to the feeling of connection in the air. Kemba's efficacy in delivery sounded almost like slam poetry. The hip-hop artist has been making music for almost a decade, and it was clear to see his grown appeal that night.
There was even some glimmering acapella in between tracks as the audience swayed back and forth to the chill, yet serious energy of Kemba. The reflective mood of the night started turning more vibrant when he performed, “Exhale,” one of his most famous songs which features Smino.
After the audience was feeling the energy from Kemba’s set, the crowd started filling with more of a mood for dancing.
Brasstracks is leading the way in making brass cool again. As exemplified by the duo, the brass sound now extends far beyond the halls of high schools and their marching bands, and bands like Brasstracks apply the dynamic sound across genres from electronic pop to hip hop.
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Brasstracks was infectious on stage as they covered songs that they said influenced their sound, some of which were unexpected. They covered “My Boo,” Tamia’s “Officially Missing You,” Drake’s “In My Feelings,” and Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO Tour Llif3.”
The set was a good mix of originals and covers and halfway through the show, the New Orleans native Pell came onto the stage to make his appearance and bring more positive energy to the stage. The night ended with the crowd-favorite and titular track, “Vibrant,” and everyone in the crowd danced.
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Brasstracks is on The Vibrant Tour. Check out more info here to catch them live.