Mayer Hawthorne deviates a bit from the retro-soul formula that made him a success on his previous two albums for his new release, Where Does This Door Go. The artist’s different sound, and slightly more serious approach with Pharrell Williams as the producer, is a solid effort in its own right. And with just a few hours before the new album’s release, Hawthorne brought the celebration to New York (instead of his native urban environment of Detroit). But then again, his parents were in the audience, so it probably felt like a homecoming for Hawthorne.
The warm up act was none other than the the Roots’ drummer and DJ, Questlove, who is all over NYC these days DJing the night away. His set included a lot of classic soul tracks, some contemporary R&B and a lot more over the course of almost an hour and a half. When a brief technical glitch forced him to reboot his computer, Questlove suggested the audience turn the venue into a “live version of Facebook. Poke each other,” before thinking better of it and adding “Nah, don’t that’s sexual harassment”. He wrapped up the rest of his set (unfortunately) without incident and without anyone in the crowd screaming they’ve been poked (both fortunately).