Last night hip-hop/trip-hop innovator Tricky performed a very intimate sold out show at 7th Street Entry. Ticket-holder at the door were greeted with a request to please refrain from accessing their cell phones during Tricky’s performance. What followed was a night of very mysterious – and very 90s – magic. Here’s our Four Takeaways.
1) Tricky and His Fans Reunited – Stepping into 7th Street Entry, a smaller venue than Tricky’s tours typically pack, one is greeted my shoulder-to-shoulder of fans still in the 90s Trip-Hop aesthetic. It was a 120 Minutes playlist come to life in the best of ways, and speaks to the power of Tricky’s music that regardless what age they were, tracks like “Hell is Around the Corner” and “Vybez” still mean as much.
2) Out of the Darkness Comes More Darkness – As mentioned, there was a strict no cell-phone usage policy that the devoted crowd loyally adhered to. No explanation was given, but once the show started, none was needed. Tricky performed largely in the shadows, with only the dimmest of lights giving silhouette glimpses of his performance. With no cell phone screen fireflies filling the air, it really felt like a theatrical performance matching the music perfectly.
3) Tricky-to-Tricky Totality – A full set followed by two extensive encores, fans got everything from Tricky. From 1995’s Maxinquaye through last year’s Ununiform, it feels like every era of Tricky from his more airy brooding tracks through the harder rocking jams were touched on. We even got “Dolls” – his reworking of Hole‘s “Doll Parts” and his live closer cover of The Breeders‘ “Do You Love Me Now.”
4) The Timelessness of Tricky – As the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd bobbed with the music, it’s notable that the show was entirely banter-less except for Tricky twice saying “Thank You” and different parts and signifying that the show was over with “Have a Good Night.” But that’s not to say the specificities weren’t felt by the crowd as hearing such emotional performances of songs that have woven their ways through our lives made for an added layer of intimacy. It’s easy to forget how many movies, televisions shows and nightmare fueling 90’s anti-drug PSAs Tricky’s music was a part of. Hearing these tracks live in such a powerful new way was a reminder of the absolute master at the helm.