By Mark Carotenuto | March 20, 2023
Snow and salt ridden streets guided the path as an eclectic group of music lovers made their way through East Williamsburg to Brooklyn Steel. For the crowd–young and old, dressed in black to rainbow–the cold air would only be a temporary vibe as everyone entered the beloved Brooklyn venue.
Setting the stage by opening up for what would be Parov Stelar’s first show in the United States in six years, El Siciliano warmed up the room with some smooth, thumping house dance music. Stoically-faced most of the performance and deeply focused while DJ-ing, the German-born Sicilian descendent grooved to the beat before offering smiles to the crowd atop the crescendo of each track. It felt like he was just as excited to perform for the crowd as the crowd was to dance and warm up inside the venue.
The pioneer of electro-swing, Marcus Füreder, aka Parov Stelar, then took the stage along with the rest of his eight-piece band, consisting of the sax, trumpet, horn trio, drums, guitar/bass, and vocals from Elena Karafizi and Anduze.
Their long-awaited return to North America began as the band set the groove straight from the start by getting booties swingin’ with their classic, ‘Booty Swing.’ From there, the group continued the swing with an awesome rendition of another of their crowd pleasers, ‘Catgroove.’ We were then swept over to a Cuban club with ‘Cuba Libre,’ with some funk house and gypsy house vibes throughout.
Their unique early-1900s swing jazz blended wonderfully with dance music synths, getting the Brooklyn Steel crowd movin’ and groovin’ all night long. Parov Stelar’s passion for visual arts also set an enthralling backdrop with a stunning visual set.
The show provided each member of the band with an opportunity to take it away with solos, while moments of horn battles into symphony mixed with electric guitar, live drums, and house music buildups set the room alight.
“Grandpa’s Groove” was a showstopper that got the whole crowd singing the vocals, and the mashup of ‘Sexy Back’ and ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ was a great display of the breadth and creativity of Parov Stelar’s talent. With so many different sounds throughout the show and a crowd who didn’t stop moving all night long, the experience of Parov Stelar live is not one to miss.
📸: shot by Tim Watrous