A cool turquoise wave of smoke cascaded up from the stage of Brighton Music Hall. In the middle of this ethereal Wednesday night swarm of light and texture stood main vocalist and bassist Adeline Michéle of the New York City “disco” dance group Escort. Michéle, primped and poised glittered like a star way up in the night’s sky, under the aurora of neon lights.
However, just moments before the grand show, the hall and its audience members seemed comfortably situated in that mid-week slump. But, when the band opened up with the track “Bright New Life” off of their 2012 self-titled album, the festivities took a much-appreciated leap towards all things young, wild, and free.
At once, Escort had eradicated any notion of our outside lives through their glowing energy: A barrage of furs, sparkles, and lamé surfaced from out of the woodwork, and onto the bodies of the night’s concert-goers. Boston’s most spectacular, most fearless freaks came out, and in doing so transformed the blandish walls of Brighton into that of a modern-day Studio 54. Men somewhere in their mid-50s were sprinkled in amongst a diverse group of queens, norm cores, hippies, and hipsters, all of which came to indulge in a heavy dose of nostalgia and disco revivalists.
Escort consequently enhanced the experience with their performance nestled somewhere in between the most fabulous in-house band and the night’s headlining act. Five songs in, and the group resurrected their 2006 break-out hit “Starlight”. Michéle in her black and gold perfectly fitted pant suit, picked and slapped at her bass: Her long, slender fingers mimicking that of a spider’s legs weaving a seamless web of pure, funkadelic bass lines.
The percussion section complimented each other with a typical drum-kit setup on one side of the stage, and alternatively on the other end a Brazilian-esque pair of floor drums, supported with varying bells thrust suggestions of Gloria Estefan within the melodies. Keyboardist Eugene Cho mesmerized the crowd with interstellar chimes beckoning more Sailor Moon soundtrack, yet managed to afford sonic abstractions that bounce between the inherent 1975 vibe and the inter workings of the new-wave genre.
During songs off of Escort’s latest 2015 release Animal Nature, in particular “My Life” and the title track, Michéle put the bass aside, and instead entrusted the audience with a flare of soulful vocals. The front woman manages to channel inklings of Donna Summer and Madonna, while shaping her own identity as both a female vocalist and entertainer.
While guitarist Dan Balis explored the realms of soft and hard guitar sections: R&B meets glam rock; Michéle explored the most successful ways in making “dropping it like it’s hot” as wildly cool and refined as possible. Her butt thus, at points, taking precedent over everything else. Straight and gay men’s hearts swooned alike.
The night neared its end around 11:30 p.m., but, the chemistry felt between both the band and audience managed to pull at an uneasy anticipation of separation anxiety. So much so, that Escort couldn’t even momentarily part with its fans in lieu of encore. Instead, smiles like the ones we all got when our mom cut the crusts off our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, spread amongst the group’s members—bidding farewell to it’s Boston family with cathartic renditions of “Cabaret” and “There But For The Grace of God.”
And once again we were pushed back into the real world yearning for a little more sparkle, and a little more disco.