I never went to prom. But if I had thought for even a second that it would resemble Gayngs’ show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, I might’ve reconsidered. It was like a packed house of the people who nobody realized were cool until we took off our glasses and let our hair down. Just getting together for an hour of slow dancing and nobody even got shoved in a locker! The band had made their New York City debut the night before at Bowery Ballroom, and you could tell they felt warmed up and comfortable in front of the Brooklyn crowd.
Gayngs took the stage looking like a crew of the smoothest dudes you’ve ever seen. Bow ties and starched white shirts and dinosaur hoodies and so many sunglasses at night. That’s smooth. They began with Relayted album-opener “The Gaudy Side of Town,” and from that moment I realized that this band was going to be spot on all night.
The thing about this band is the level of sincerity that they approach everything with. Maybe it would be easy – or at least predictable – to be in an R&B supergroup band with as many members as a baseball team in the indie scene in 2010 if the entire thing was dripping in several coats of irony and done with a wink before starting every song. But when Gayngs go off on a synth or tenor sax solo, or when Justin Vernon croons (or engages in onstage banter) through his autotuned mic, or even while covering Sade or Alan Parson Project, it really just feels like this is what they would be doing whether we were watching or not.
Obviously my prom reference earlier was referring to Relayted standout track “The Last Prom on Earth.” The band closed out their set with this jam executed expertly. And it really was like the final scene in a John Hughes movie or something. I really wouldn’t have been surprised if someone stormed the stage, took the mic away and declared their love for someone else in the room. And I guarantee if that happened, everyone in the room last night, fueled by good and smooth vibes from the band, would have high-fived everyone.
Here’s a couple videos. One of the band’s cover of Sade’s “By Your Side” and the other from their performance on Fallon playing “The Gaudy Side of Town.” Enjoy!