Hiatus Kaiyote Are an Unstoppable Force at Brooklyn Steel on Friday Night
March 14, 2022
Hiatus Kaiyote – Brooklyn Steel – March 11, 2022
Near the very beginning of Hiatus Kaiyote’s show at Brooklyn Steel on Friday night, I wrote in my notes: “I won’t spend too long being like, lead vocalist Nai Palm’s voice is a heroic instrument or Hiatus Kaiyote’s singer Nai Palm’s voice is a force of nature, or anything like that.” But yeah, it totally is, and by the end of the set I realized I need to say it, because this shit is fucking nuts. Hearing her at full belt is something that needs to be heard to be believed. OK, now that’s out of the way. Let’s get started: When the lights went down and the hall filled with the stink of human joy, the crowd was ecstatic to see Hiatus Kaiyote at their most ferocious, an unstoppable force.
Taking the stage in front of what I called in my head a “disco wall,” an undulating rectangular block covered in reflective glass that rippled like cloth, the Australian neo-soul quartet delivered nearly two hours of futuristic R&B. Simon Mavin was absolutely off his rocker, his keys loaded with unreal sounds that chimed and chirped and pinged and sung. And Paul Bender’s bass thundered and bounced through “Chivalry Is Not Dead,” from their 2021 release, Mood Valiant. They filled the room with an electric, otherworldly energy, playing a set list that included “Get Sun,” Mood Valiant’s lead single.
It’s that energy that imbues their words with so much melodic and harmonic heft that words that otherwise might sound like clichés ring with a musical authority. Nai Palm dedicated the last song of the set to “anyone who has had a fuck-shitfest of a time,” and even though that’s pretty much everybody these days, you could feel the words resonating across the room. I forgot how much I love this band. —Adlan Jackson | @AdlanKJ
Photos courtesy of DeShaun Craddock | www.dac.photography