by Evie Saphire-Bernstein
Six bodies dressed in black and white patterned outfits standing in a single row in front of the Williamsburg crowd.
Before the lead singer of AVAN LAVA, Tom Hennes, launched into his first song, “Tear it Down,” he screamed out to the crowd: “Today is fucking winning!” Right after that announcement, the band, accompanied by a lightshow and choreographed dance numbers, promptly stormed into their set.
A big part of AVAN LAVA’s show was theatrics: crowd-surfing, costume changes, and riding the crowd on an inflatable raft (wondering how Steve Aoki feels about that one). One might say that the theatrics are all trickery and illusion to distract the audience from shitty music but do not fear, AVAN LAVA is a great band to see live.
Their killer and strong voices are on beat and on key – even while marathoning around the stage, tearing off clothing. So no, the theatrics do not detract from the performance, they add to it: it’s not just about the music, it’s a full sensory entertainment project.
The set was solid, with some slower jams mixed in with their high energy 80’s inspired dance tracks. For a few songs, you could have confused them for an R&B soul group, especially during “Slow Motion”, which inspired awkward body thrusting throughout the dancing audience. Most of the songs, however, were loud, dubstep-meets-disco kind of fast.
The band wrapped up with “It’s Never Over,” a great party anthem that closed out the night on a high note leaving the exhausted crowd wandering around the venue, out of breath, searching for their discarded clothes and winter gear.