Ymir, Wasiu & Apashe Concert Review – Webster Hall 11/16/23

Written by on November 22, 2023

Photos and Review by GS Alvarez

When Apashe announced his Antagonist Tour (previously called the Brass Orchestra Tour when tickets initially went on sale), having been an avid fan of electronic music but having also never gone to an electronic show, I knew I had to make this my first. When the name and openers were solidified, my hype grew almost exponentially—YMIR, one of the openers, has been one of my favorite artists since his debut.

I arrived to Webster Hall at 6 p.m., which proved to be a mistake as doors opened an hour later than I initially thought. This put me at the front of the line and, when the venue eventually opened, I was able to get a spot right on the barrier. YMIR, the artist I had been looking forward to most, went on right at 8:30 with an almost timid introduction. The crowd was sparse at this point as people were still buying merch and getting in the venue, but he played as if it was a full house.

Playing a mix of old and new proved to be a hit, as the longer his set went on, the more people seemed to get interested. His energy was calm but enticing, his mixing was clean, and his vocals were clear. He also played two of my favorites — “FALL” and “The Wild Hunt” — and they sounded even better live than on the record. Most of his lights were blue and left him in shadow, which contributed to his air of mystery (along with his usual cloak and eye mask). I sent most of the photos I took to his Discord, which he ended up saying he would print out and put in his personal tour photobook.

Next up was Wasiu, a frequent Apashe collaborator. There was no break between the two, as they shared the stage for about a minute. This proved to be a great move as their transition was smooth and impressive. I was largely unfamiliar with his personal discography, but he performed a great mix of singing, rapping, and DJing. He was also a great hype man, as the more the crowd grew, the more energy he gave to prepare the audience for the headliner.

During the half-hour break before Apashe came on, I spoke to a few of the people surrounding me. One had seen him five times previously, and the other two had seen him at Red Rocks in Colorado. We ended up exchanging numbers (and concert photos) after the show.

Apashe came on stage around 10:30 and was much louder than both openers. Earplugs proved to be a good investment. Each member of the featured live brass orchestra—two trumpets, two French horns, and four trombones—were dressed in matching black hoodie/sweatpants combinations, and they all danced and jumped around between songs with a contagious happiness.

Apashe’s set was incredibly clean and had no breaks. Each song flowed smoothly into the next, and the tracklist was a great mix of his classics, his newer tracks, and remixes of other artists’ songs. At one point, he played a remix of “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé, and later played “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X. Standouts included “Gasoline,” “Witch,” and “Work” (The live brass orchestra really took both remixes to the next level).

His visuals were hypnotizing, and part of me wished I was further back or on the balcony to truly appreciate them. The stage featured three vertical screens reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails’ 2013 Tension stage design by Rob Sheridan (Apashe also featured a rectangle motif throughout his show). Other striking visuals included a dancing blob of golden goo, pixel-sorted segments of music videos, and a 3D model like Thomas Bangalter’s Daft Punk mask with a light beam shooting from the eyes.

As I hoped (and expected), Wasiu and YMIR joined Apashe onstage for their collaborative songs (including “Majesty,” “Legendary,” “Never Change,” and “Uebok”). Their energies were infectious and left the crowd cheering long after the last track ended.

But the show wasn’t over yet. With the show ending at 11:56 (and the last train out of Penn Station leaving at 12:34), I was considering heading out the second they left the stage— but one of the girls I befriended informed me that Apashe was going to come out and greet the barrier in a few minutes. Sure enough, at 11:59, he hopped down and started shaking our hands and signing things, calling my little group “f—ing loud.”

I didn’t have time to grab a picture, but I did head over to the side to meet YMIR, who was just off-the-charts sweet. He laughed but happily signed the brim of my hat as I realized I had nothing else for him to sign. I told him I’d been a fan since he had 50 people in his Discord and was very impressed by his growth and live performance, and he asked for my name (and ended up responding to me later online).

Even if I had to sprint down the streets of Manhattan and take a cab to Penn, almost missing the last train out, this show was so unique and absolutely worth the stress. If you’re considering catching him on his next tour, know that he’s a fantastic live performer— and the show he puts on is loud, visually intense, and fascinatingly unique.