The SummerStage Series in Central Park really rocked it last Wednesday night featuring the uber popular German group, Milky Chance. The original duo, comprised of DJ Phillipp Dausch and singer/songwriter Clemens Rehbein, can be classified as electronica pop heavily influenced by folk and reggae styles. More recently, the guys brought on a third musician, Antonio Greger, who wails on the harmonica adding another funky component to their unique style. Opening for the European musicians was the Ithaca, NY based quartet, X Ambassadors who started off the night energizing the crowd.
Nestled in Rumsey Playfield, the SummerStage crew knows what they're doing. Celebrating their 30th season, the venue was extremely well laid out, designed in a very friendly and open format. The stage was clearly the center point of the area, but it didn’t completely dominate the grove. The area’s perimeter was constructed by a plethora of food and beverage vendors, featuring collaborations from Brooklyn’s trendy Smorgasbord food fest, STAND Coffee, ASIADOG, plus a ton drinks including Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, and a refreshing Swedish canned-cider, Rekorderlig.
Tasting our way across the vendors, we settled in the very middle of the audience for the start of X Ambassadors. The sun was still shining high as the band kicked off the evening. Unfamiliar with their work, their pop-rock songs really got the crowd moving – and singing! During their forty-five minute gig, they debuted songs from their first full-length album, VHS, including the popular, “Jungle”, “Renegades”, and “Gorgeous.” Lead vocalist Sam Harris swooned the crowd with some summery saxophone solos as the sunset began its daily descent. The saxophone and short-sleeve button-downs may be rivaling for Summer 2015’s trendiest already existing phenomenon. Cool Tommy Bahamas dads and Lisa Simpson better watch their backs…
After the openers wrapped up, a crew took to the stage and had Milky Chance on in just under 20 minutes. From the very beginning of their set, the now trio had a full house on their feet and belting along under the clear evening night sky! Their first full-length album, Sadnecessary, is stacked with hits. Arguably their most popular tune, “Stolen Dance” has been played more than 210 million times on Spotify (now there’s something to be said there). Each track has a similar vibe, but very individual lyrics that make them stand out on their own. Ripping tracks like, “Flashed Junk Mind” and “Down By The River”, when they jumped into “Stunner” everyone was singing their hearts out! Rehbein and Dausch’s lyrical and instrumental fusion resonated over The Park, as Greger got real bluesy with his talented harmonica skills. The three of them really owned the audience, and entranced all with their fun shoulder-shaking beats. If you can make sure to get to a concert of theirs if at all possible, you’ll be happy you did. But in the meantime, check out SummerStage’s website to experience some great music under the summer evening skies.