Norfolk, Virginia (October 21, 2018) – Tonight , Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern also known as Sofi Tukker, took the stage live at The NorVA on the Treehouse Tour. The band is supported by Los Angelos based LP Giobbi , TC Milan and Le Chev of New York City’s Crush Club.
As I wait for the show to begin, it is easily 25 minutes before the show will start and I notice LP Giobbi enter stage right. Immediately the house induced latin flavored beats get the crowd amped as LP Giobbi has the fans rocking. We are in full show mode and LP Giobbi is not holding back. Switching between digital turntables and synth, LP Giobbi takes to her microphone to keep the crowd hype.
“I need your participation, the more you dance and get into to it, the more I will go off and give it back to you!”
Between her booming dance tracks, LP Giobbi who trained in jazz piano at UC Berkeley, dazzles the crowd with her amazing talent on the keys. She is wearing one of her signature shirts that has “Disco Pussy Posse” printed on the front as she busts some impressive moves behind her instruments without missing a beat. She announces that her next song is new and she just released it just last week. LP Giobbi also DJ’s and books shows for W Hotels as their Music Curator, and co-owns new record label Animal Talk with Sofi Tukker.
Quite a few people in the crowd are dancing vigorously as The NorVA continues to fill in with more fans. Le Chev of Crush Club enters stage right adorned in a large brimmed white hat and a colorful red and black tasled poncho. He picks up his bass that has been sitting on stage until this point and before long is slapping a few notes along with Giobbi.
The show has almost a jam band type fluidity to it. There is very little pause as the different band members enter and leave the stage. The talented musicians just come in and blend into the current songs as the prior performer leaves.
After a few minutes, vocalist Nicki B enters stage right and grooves to the jams currently being rocked by her band mate and LP Giobbi. The crowd screams as Crush Club is clearly about to perform. Shortly after, Crush Club vocalist TC Milan enters the room. Dressed in a white suit with black trim almost resembling that of a bullfighter he transitioned the show into the next phase.
LP Giobbi seamlessly leaves the stage and the sounds of Crush Club fill the room with delight. With songs like “Get Me Off” and “Higher”, an anthem about being your best self that was written soon after Prince’s death and is soulful with warmth splattered throughout the lyrics and a heartfelt chorus expressed by the unique voice of TC Milan.
Crush Club displays constant interaction with the crowd and at one point Milan climbs down to the barrier to address everyone up close and personal. He asks the crowd, “Who’s here to get a man tonight? The crowd cheers, and Nicki B responds “I am!” as she scans the crowd with a huge smile on her face.
Hands clap as the band rocks through their song “We Dance”. The funky guitar sounds and bass grooves build as the band fuses funk, pop and electro together.
I can’t take my eyes off the band because their stage presence is so captivating. I don’t want to miss anything.
Nicki B joined this tour to accent the band as she lends her powerful voice to the songs and Milan vocally cheers her on. Her voice cuts through the crowd and hits you in the chest and leaves you thinking WOW! Together they masterfully perform these songs with powerful precision.
As Crush Club finishes their set, LP Giobbi again enters the stage. Firing up new tracks on her trusty digital turntables, she again keeps the crowd preoccupied while the stage is reset for the Sofi Tukker performance. Again the crowd is constantly dancing and enjoying themselves to the thumping tunes Giobbi has to offer. I notice while she plays, Nicki B who just performed with Crush Club runs out from backstage back toward the merch area near the entrance to The NorVA. Next thing I know, she is in front of me dancing with some fans but wearing a long fake beard and some sort of mask. The fans love it are taking cellphone pictures and dancing around with her. Quickly, she disappears backstage again and resurfaces on stage with LP Giobbi. Dancing and rocking in her vibrant red outfit as she shows LP Giobbi and the crowd love.
A few minutes later Nicki B is back in the crowd. I see her putting the beard and mask onto one of the people dancing with her as she says, “I’ll be back.” The fans keep dancing and Nicki B reappears on stage. This time, she and LP Giobbi have a little dance routine they perform as one of Giobbi’s tracks play. The crowd loves it as they mimic the dancing they see in front of them. Nicki B leaves the stage again as the stage is near done being setup for the headlining act.
The lights drop as Sofi Tukker comes on stage. Sophie Hawley-Weld comes out first wearing an all white outfit and Tucker Halpern in a black and white striped shirt and checkered shorts with colorful leggings.
Sophie seems to never stop smiling and it fills the room with warmth. As her smooth voices sings in Portuguese;
“Chegou a hora do carro zunir
Chegou a hora do jeep lunar
Agora eu quero me divertir
Agora eu quero me esbaldar”
Tucker controls the effects and beats as Sophie switches from singing and also strumming parts on her rocking white flying V guitar.
Stopping only talk with the crowd, the band continues to churn out many of the crowd favorites. “Deja Vu Affair“, “Fuck They” and Everybody Needs A Kiss had my memories of 90’s rave synth vibes pulsing and my body rocking. The crowd screams “Everybody needs A Kiss!” and the house music influenced kick drums drives the beat as people dance happily waiting to sing along to the next chorus.
Soon came their 2017 song “Best Friend“ which played during the iPhone X full commercial reveal at the Apple Event on September 12, 2017.
Sophie trusted the crowd more than a lot of artists I have seen. A few different times she left the stage and climbed up onto the barrier fence and allowed the crowd to hold her up as she sang. At one point fully jumping into the crowd and dancing as Tucker took command of the stage.
Sofi Tukker is appreciative and sincere to their fans and it is displayed throughout their performance. Tuckers playful interaction with the crowd as he sticks his bum out provocatively put a smile on to everyone in the front row. The pure delight on the bands faces as they perform draws in the newest of fans as if they personally know you. There are two young ladies in the crowd that could’ve been older than 9 or 10 singing along to all of the bands songs.
Not only did Sophie risk falling off the stage while reaching the microphone out to them to sing on multiple occasions, but she also invited them both up on stage to perform a song with her. The two young fans followed Sophie’s dance instructions as the band broke into song.
During “Awoo” from their 2016 Soft Animals Album, Brazilian percussions and piano fill the spaces between house beats as the lyrics wash over the crowd.
“I know I did not raise a wrist
I know I did not capture it
It came (it came), it went (it went)
It conquered quick
I was there and then I quit
During the encore the band played their song “Drinkee” from the Soft Animals EP was nominated for a 2017 Grammy for Best Dance Recording. The crowd cheers as the song starts.
“Com deus me deito com deus me levanto
Comigo eu calo comigo eu canto
Eu bato um papo eu bato um ponto
Eu tomo um drinque eu fico tonto
Com deus me deitocom deus me levanto
Comigo eu calo comigo eu canto
Eu bato um papo eu bato um ponto
Eu tomo um drinque eu fico tonto”
The Tree House Tour is fun energetic and thoughtfuly put together. You won’t be bored between bands waiting for the next act to start. You won’t have to know the lyrics to feel like a part of the show, and you will dance like you never have before. If you get the chance go see the tour you can catch them at more dates here: http://www.sofitukker.com/tour
Baby I’m A Queen
Everybody Needs A Kiss
My Body Hurts
Photojournalist: Ken Penn