When Fred Again casually mentioned to his 2.2 million Instagram followers on Tuesday that he was in New York, his most ardent fans already began planning their pilgrimages to the Big Apple. No shows or appearances had been announced, but the dance music darling’s history of pulling surprises and a scattering of subtle hints was proof enough that something was afoot.
And when, on Thursday, after a series of teases, Fred formally announced a pop-up show at Knockdown Center just hours before it would begin, he sold out 3,200-some tickets in less than 10 minutes.
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Fans immediately headed to Queens to get in line, as Fred would open the evening at 8 p.m. with a one-hour solo set before ceding the decks to AceMoma, then returning from 10 p.m. to midnight with a back-to-back set with Overmono, the Welsh EDM duo comprising brothers Tom and Ed Russell.
It was a sauna inside the factory-turned-warehouse-venue as thousands of 20-somethings pushed closer to the minimalist stage, devoid of the giant, vertical screens Fred typically employs at his concerts. The crowd sang and broke into swells of dancing during his most recognizable songs — “Jungle,” “Rumble,” “Turn on the Lights Again” and “Leavemealone” — and head-bobbed and fist-pumped during the bass-heavy interludes. With Fred and Overmono trading time on the turntables, the show was much looser — and barer — than Fred’s trio of elaborate October productions at Forest Hills Stadium.
But that doesn’t mean the set lacked thrills. During the last half-hour of the final set, Fred introduced a special guest, as Lil Yachty emerged onstage wearing a neon green shirt and orange durag. The rapper hummed a few lines into an auto-tuned mic before jumping on the table with Fred and leading Knockdown Center in singing the chorus to an unreleased collaboration song from Fred, Yachty and Overmono titled “Stayinit.” It’s a dark, clubby track in line with Fred’s “USB” project and the Baby Keem collab “Leavemealone,” and was received well as blue lasers and strobe lights showered the crowd.
Watch footage of Fred and Lil Yachty below.
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