Antony & the Johnsons @ Radio City Music Hall

Antony with the incredible lazers and overhead installation (via Pitchfork)

I don’t have many words to do this show justice, so here’s an excerpt from the New York Times summarizing the show:

Wonderment and sorrow course through the songs of Antony Hegarty, who leads Antony and the Johnsons. Those are immense emotions, and on Thursday night he performed in a place to match their scale: Radio City Music Hall.

There he poured out his uncanny voice: a preternaturally sustained, androgynous croon, steeped in melancholy and awe. I’ve never heard a Radio City audience keep so silent during ballads.

The lasers sketched curvilinear phantoms, diagonal grids or a crystalline cage; in one song tiny red lights flickered like fireflies. Mr. Hegarty himself was a modest figure within the larger tableaus, sometimes very still, sometimes gesturing. The focus was on the music, not the performer.

Antony played with the LA Phil a few years ago, and I’ve beat myself up since for not going. When I saw that this event was happening, I jumped for joy.

It was spectacular to say the least.

This was my first time at Radio City Music Hall. When I walked into the main performance space, I was blown away at the size of the place. To me the hall is essentially an indoor version of the Hollywood Bowl with the domed shell of a ceiling. Because I’m still new to New York, I appreciate things here and there everyday, but places like this and events like this really only happen in a few places around the world, and I feel so lucky to be able to witness them.

The show opened with an abstract repetitive dance piece by Johanna Constantine, and then we were lucky enough to have Julia Yasuda (who’s voice is instantly recognizable from “Free At Last”, a track from I Am A Bird Now) introduce Antony. The summary above describes the show more succinctly than I might be able to, so I’ll leave you with a video of “I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy.” Watch it to the end to see one level of the transformations the stage made throughout the night.