It’s a crazy thing seeing somebody change over time. We all change of course, whether it be personalities or clothing styles or whatever but when we see it in others it’s something that always catches us by surprise. This is how I’ve felt over the past year seeing the kind-hearted acquaintance of mine, Dev Hynes, grow into this pop god behemoth known as Blood Orange. Dev is one of the truest people you could ever hope to come across and what’s beautiful about that is how seamlessly genuine his words sound whenever he’s speaking to you. One of the best qualities I think a person can have is an inquisitive mind whilst engaged in conversation with others, and that’s a trait of Dev’s personality that I respect highly, and it’s certainly what’s brought him far in the music world (as well as his slick and emotionally disarming tunes). It’s crazy to think that only a couple of years ago he was the insanely quiet guy who’d badger Keith from We Are Scientists about Playstation Three games backstage at a show haha but it’s happened and it’s fantastic seeing how far he’s come. He’s already played some stellar shows as Blood Orange in NYC but this gig was the epic centre of his gloriously hectic year: a massive show in Central Park.
I can still remember the vast and expansive line for the show. It was a line that seemed to have no end in sight, a massive line that I have never seen before at a Central Park show (not even for acts like Phoenix and Arctic Monkeys). This was one of those shows that’d be impossible to talk about without bringing up the crowd, the colorfully eclectic crowd that all seemed to be in a non-verbal competition to one up each other in terms of stylistic sense. Sure I thought ‘wow Hipsters galore’ but I was also struck by the vibrancy of it all, the vastness of diversity was the type of thing I used to daydream about while I was being raised in the suburbs. This was easily a great weekend for Brooklyn Thrift Shops but it was an even better weekend for Dev Hynes who entered the stage to booming applause from his hometown fans. As he performed on Summer Stage he echoed the moves of his influences (clearly Prince and Michael Jackson) while showcasing the type of confidence that most guys only dream of having. The only time the old Dev showed was whenever he’d banter with the crowd between songs. He looked completely awe struck at the loving crowd in front of him whenever one of these instances took place, a charm that easily made the crowd love him more. What I’ll always remember about this show is how this was a show that felt important rather than it being just another show. It had to have given Dev a sense of validation for being the tall/dorky guy who created such beautiful songs in his bedroom while a cute little dog badgered him on for his attention. Dev Hynes truly arrived at Central Park and it was a damn fine thing to witness. Enjoy my photos from the show below.
Sean Nicholas Savage
Be sure to check out Blood Orange’s album, Cupid Deluxe, which is out now!
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