The Freaks Came Out At Night: Boy Harsher live at Musicbox, Lisbon
April was the month that saw the return of Boy Harsher to Portugal for three completely sold-out shows. Of these three dates, we attended the very first in Lisbon, where the North American darkwave duo of Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller would perform at Musicbox, on a night that promised to be remembered in every single aspect. We knew based on past reactions that we should have expected nothing short of a rave, but the reality is, as soon as we walked inside the venue, we felt as if we had crossed into a parallel dimension, where electronic body music was paramount. What we experienced that night had surpassed every expectation, and the rave was unlike anything we had seen; it was a whole world of complex and dark cinematic catharsis and sound.
As the show goes into full motion and the sweat starts to drip, Jae Matthews refers that the freaks came out at night, a statement that couldn’t have been truer given the context, and the heaviness of Boy Harsher’s soundscapes and rhythms melded together with every single dance move done by both Jae, Augustus and the audience, like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. It is not hard to understand why a venue such as Musicbox would be the perfect choice for a showcase of such devoted sonic debauchery and rhythmic rage. Inside walls of stone, a very intimate setting enables artists such as Boy Harsher to give themselves completely to their music and their audience. And the more Jae and Augustus moved, the more the audience responded with increasing enthusiasm, singing every lyric, dancing to every beat and earning for more and more, which resulted in a unique atmosphere, a kind of heterotopian dream of darkwave sensations. It all came to a complete boil when “Modulations” and “Pain”, both songs from their Lesser Man EP, echoed through the walls and a sea of dancing freaks took over. In our minds, days after the show, we are still dancing and revisiting every beat heard and every emotion felt during that night, so allows us to spread some of the joy, rage and frantic atmosphere we felt and danced to through a series of photographs.
Words by Filipe Silva
Photos by Alexandra Ramos