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Jonathan Bree





Levitation Fest: Jonathan Bree Swanks the Scene at Empire

 Each bar of Levitation Fest ostensibly has its own scene given the night’s set, and as the weekend went on the scenes became more apparent. Thursday night at Empire listed dark wave dance artists, Jonathan Bree headlining. The humid hazy room was a relief from the damp cold outside. Jonathan Bree and his masked band elegantly entered the stage. The women in powdered wigs and ruffled collars and petticoats, the men with suspenders and black bowl haircuts. The dark dulcitone sounds danced with the light illustrations on the backlit wall. Jonathan Bree crooned and swayed, breaking into and out of synchronized choreography with the ladies.

 

When the band began “Waiting on the Moment,” everyone joined in and seemed to know the choreography. The light output reflected the women dancing on stage creating double vision on top of the already amorphous crowd in rhythm. The scenes will vary slightly each night at Empire, but on Thursday the scene was destined to dance.

 

The female mannequin froze Jonathan while she broke with the opening lines of “Say You Love Me Too.” The bass skips on top of their whispered lyrics. The steady, looped tempo challenges the building tension of the song, reflected in the fevered back and forth chassés on stage. Each suave detail contributed to a masterfully rehearsed performance and darkly curated dance wave that bewitches everyone into grooves and boogies. Bree’s “You’re So Cool” must be the spellbinding song that wins souls into his cult following. The song itself will leave you insatiable for it on repeat, but the live performance and magic that is Levitation fest has left Austin as fertile ground for his next church.

 

Photo: Casey Holder

Article: Mel Green

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