Icarus Live @ Yes – Pink Room 04/02/2022
Its business as usual for Friday night in Manchester, crowds hustle and bustle as the city is winding up for the weekend. I myself, am running a little late. My destination is the Pink Room in Yes where Icarus are delivering a headline set kicking off the tour in support of their eclectic album, Unfold.
My hand is stamped as a loud cheer breaks through the closed door as the Bristol duo enters the stage, and waste no time getting started. Walking into the room immediately consumed with coloured strobe lights and Icarus’ signature atmospheric EDM sound is like walking through a rave scene from Skins. The crowd moving in unison brings the feel of an open field festival to the intimate room.
Paying a little more attention to the stage set up, Icarus strike a nice balance between band and DJ – live drum pads and synths are used as well as a bass guitar. Surely, the pair would have the talent and know-how to opt for a back-to-back style DJ set, but the fact they haven’t gives the audience something else to get their teeth into.
Each track is blended together seamlessly, and the arrival of each new recognisable riff is met with whoops and whistles from the crowd. Hans Zimmer-like synths are accompanied by that classic four-to-the-floor house beat and elements of Afro-inspired percussion. A melting pot of classic and innovation, Icarus are elegant in their simplicity.
The set pauses as Tom Griffis gives a brief but sincere thanks to the crowd, before launching straight back in now joined by vocalist Rae Morris for ‘Dreams of you’. The addition of vocals adds a new dynamic to the set as the crowd audibly lift the atmosphere another level by joining in for the chorus of ‘Sirens’ from their 2019 EP This Must Be the Place. Golden lights shimmer over the crowd as the on-stage presence returns to a pair.
Cruising at a steady pace this far, the performance begins to intensify and the lights follow suit. Strong EDM beats, synth yelps and bass wubs with delicate piano chords scattered over the top build to 2016 track ‘Home,’ lifting the crowd another level. Usually, there are both obvious and hidden indicators as to how much a crowd is enjoying a show, but when a stranger grabs you by the face and screams ‘THIS IS ICONIC,’ before rushing straight past to the front of the audience, you know that something must be going right.
Icarus tied the room together with relative ease through the evening and into the night, refusing to be shoehorned into one electronic genre as they explore multiple elements. This should come as no surprise, as it’s what they do on their records. Leaving the room at the end of the gig with a kick drum still rattling in my brain, I’m half convinced to get down to the nearest music store and buy myself some decks. Anyone else?
Listen to Icarus here:Icarus / review / YES