REVIEW: Bonobo Performs a Stunning Set at Brooklyn Mirage


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Simon Green, better known as Bonobo, is a consistent staple for DJ sets around New York City, but to see a live performance is to see something truly special. Earlier this month, Bonobo finished out his U.S. tour for his 2017 album Migration at the Brooklyn Mirage – an apt choice for a warm summer evening of good vibes.

Bonobo’s performance hinged on the idea of collaboration – from his full band recreating recording-quality sounds, to special guests, and perfect partnership with Mirage’s production skills. The venue orchestrated impressive 3D projection mapping across all of the Mirage’s walls. The perfect backdrop to Bonobo’s rhythmic sounds. I found that at the Mirage, there’s no bad place to stand: sound quality is consistent throughout, and you can’t miss the wrap-around visuals.

Brooklyn Mirage 3D Visuals

The only shot I have – which does not do the visuals justice.

The band played an extended set with many fan favorites. New York-based group Innov Gnawa joined for a heart-pumping “Bambro Koyo Ganda,” and Nicole Miglis joined for an emotional “Surface,” both tracks off of Migration. Grey Reverened came to the stage for “First Fires” off of The North Borders, and the band rocked out to old hits “Cirrus” and “Stay the Same”. The set was balanced between old songs and new, and based on the silent yet gleeful crowd, you could tell everyone was hearing exactly what they wanted to.

Nicole Miglis sings "Surface"

Nicole Miglis sings “Surface” Credit: Julian Cassidy

The pit was full with an exuberant audience dancing harder than what Bonobo’s smooth beats call for. But if you’re a fan, you know you need to savor this moment and throw your body into it. A live tour is a rare occurrence, and each attendee felt lucky to be under a warm Brooklyn sky, amidst friends in the picturesque Mirage.

Bonobo performs at the Brooklyn Mirage on July 1.

Credit: Julian Cassidy

Those not willing to melt into the pit found there was plenty of room at the outskirts or throughout the multi-level edifice. There were plenty of spaces to roam, even with a sold-out show. Bonobo’s music allows for lounging at times, getting jiggy at others, which is what made the Mirage the perfect host venue.

It was truly a treat, this early summer evening. The air was warm, the music was good, the beer was cold, and we knew no strangers.

A collaborative effort by Mary Parhiala and Jonathan Wilcox.