Review: Sofi Tukker & LP Giobbi @ Fine Line, 5/4

Review: Sofi Tukker & LP Giobbi @ Fine Line, 5/4

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May in Minnesota is usually when the winter fades, flowers bloom, and things start to get a bit sweaty. It certainly felt like that last Friday at Fine Line Music Cafe, when Sofi Tukker brought their unique brand of raucous house music to Minneapolis.

Formed in their senior year at Brown University, Sofi Tukker is the project of producers/multi-instrumentalists/singers/best friends Tucker Halpern and Sophie Hawley-Weld. After garnering acclaim off the back of their debut EP Soft Animals and its smash single “Drinkee,” ST released their debut LP Treehouse back on April 13th, which is also the birthday of yours truly!

Their “Treehouse World Tour” found them headlining the Twin Cities for the first time, having previously played Myth back in November while supporting Odesza. And based on the sold out show’s success, my guess is it won’t be their last time. Crowds of glitter-clad twentysomethings congregated at the barrier as opening act LP Giobbi came onstage.The LA-based DJ who features in Sofi Tukker’s “Batshit” video, spun an hourlong mix that was everything you’d want from an up and coming house DJ. She didn’t stand still and act cool; she danced and bopped her way around the stage the entire time. Giobbi, clad in a t-shirt that read “TITS FIRST,” fed off the crowd for energy, her smiles growing wider and wider as the set progressed–which not only connected her with her audience, but made the performance better as well. The highlight came at the end, when she came out from behind the decks to full on vogue during her performance of her debut single, “Amber Rose.” Oh, and she was one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met after a gig in my life.

Then, it was Sofi Tukker’s turn to rock the crowd. Their stage was set up in full jungle fervor to match their Treehouse aesthetic. The centerpiece is their trademark “tree” synth setup, which you have to see to believe. They opened their set with “Energia” and “Matadora,” two back to back pump-up jams sung entirely in Portuguese. During “Awoo,” they brought two fans up onstage to join them in performing the trademark “arm-swish” dance from the song’s video–one of which was a boy in blue lipstick who happened to be Sophie’s long-lost cousin.

 

Sophie in all her splendor.

Following the family reunion, ST rattled off a few cuts from Treehouse, including the chill house ballad “Benadryl,” the defiant “Baby I’m a Queen,” the FIFA ’17-featured “Johny,” and best of all, “My Body Hurts”: the raging, frustrated yawp that Sophie wrote about her struggles with migraines. The catharsis was visible on Sophie’s face as she sang, “My body hurts/I’m overwhelmed/I complain because I want to and it feels so good to yell.” If the best songs come from a place of honesty, then “My Body Hurts” is one of Sofi Tukker’s best–a sincerest expression of the pain of being betrayed by your own body.

They played two new, unreleased songs that they’d written on tour, both of them got the crowd moving–or rather, they kept the crowd moving, as there wasn’t a moment of rest during the entire set. I still have no idea how I didn’t pass out from dehydration or sheer ecstasy, but that’s the power of Sofi Tukker’s live show–there’s something about it that makes you feel superhuman.

 

Tukker takes center stage.

And maybe that’s because Sofi Tukker are, after all, superhumans. I came to this realization during “Moon Tattoo,” a favorite from the Soft Animals EP. The song ends with a high pitched vocal riff that Sophie absolutely nails in the studio version–but that’s just the studio. Could she repeat the feat in real life? The answer, it turns out, is absolutely. My jaw dropped when she pulled it off immaculately, which was the moment the gig went from good to transcendent.

And it never let up from there. Banger after banger followed–from call and response perfection in “Best Friend” to crowd pleasing album opener “Fuck They,” and best of all, “Batshit”–Tucker’s chance to take over lead vocals while Sophie shredded on her white flying V guitar. Oh, and they dressed up in the outfits from the video, too.

When they left the stage before the encore, I knew that “Drinkee” was coming, and I was ready. But what I didn’t expect was the show’s purest moment. When Tucker went on a tangent about his and Sophie’s differing music tastes and his love for 2000s Eurodance, a genre that he claims Sophie doesn’t appreciate–that is, except for September’s smash 2008 hit, “Cry For You,” which Sophie performed a wonderful cover of, which this reviewer hasn’t had off his rotation all week.

All in all, Sofi Tukker was one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while. If you like to dance, go see them when they come your way.

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