Cashmere Cat (Biased) Concert Review
I’ve been a fan of Cashmere Cat for years. Ever since I discovered Mirror Maru I’ve been excited about each release despite the yawning gap between them. Unlike other electronic artists, Cashmere Cat has been far from prolific. Releasing only one collection of songs that one could call an album, with the rest coming in with play-times of twenty minutes or less, there isn’t a huge collection for an artist to draw from during a performance. But myself, like many devoted followers of the shy artist, loves every single one of the songs he has made. Combining otherworldly instruments with rocking chair sounds and meows, Magnus, the first name behind the long-haired Cashmere Cat, is able to produce melodies using seemingly unrelated sounds and it shows in his concerts.
In his only full length album, Magnus flexes his connections in the music industry by producing songs that feature artists like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, The Weeknd and more. A resume like that is difficult to ignore. But still, despite the electronic sounds in his music, most of it is far from head-bobbing music that you’d hear at a club. So when I was on my way to Webster Hall on the first bitingly cold winter night in New York City, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would it be a relaxing concert? I knew that it would be a DJ set, but would it be quiet and reserved.
The openers began to answer that question for me. Talented and playing interesting music, both openers were entertaining, but when Cashmere Cat came onstage, something was different.
The crowd was frenetic. It was ravey. But with a distinct difference. Magnus opened with a track on his new album called Watergirl which focuses on a sample from Christina Agulara’s “What a Girl Wants”. This song seamlessly introduced a seamingly unedited version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” which got the crowd dancing and smiling. Magnus was jumping around and seemed to enjoy the music more than anyone. For someone who has been very public about how much he wants to keep his life private, he didn’t mind dancing around on display for everyone to see in his bizarre, colorful, and suitable sweater.
And when it comes down to it, that’s what this concert was about. It was about fun and the joy of listening to great music. Unlike other DJs that rely on a microphone to shout into to interact with the crowd, Magnus used his setlist to his advantage, playing a song that prompted goodbyes from the audience before he walked back on for an encore. The set clearly played to Magnus’s personality as the typical lights that would illuminate the artist on stage were mostly off, giving way to lights that lit up the crowd almost as much as the stage, leaving Cashmere Cat as a silhouette.
There were no breaks, no conversations with the audience, just music. The 32-year-old showed his djing prowess with a fully seamless set complete with random bouts of noises that would typically be considered unmusical and unbearable, but that somehow managed to meld perfectly into each song.
The concert was made up of almost entirely original music with a few key remixes thrown in, mostly to aid in the story of the concert and in communicating to the audience. Otherwise the likes of the upbeat “Trust Nobody” mixed perfectly with the more reserved “Mirror Maru”. Original songs with popular samples paid their dues to their original songs and prompted further fervor from the audience.
The dancing didn’t stop and neither did the excitement. Although I didn’t know what to expect going in, I certainly got an experience I was looking for. I’ll be seeing Cashmere Cat again as soon as I possibly can.