"We're on the eve of a monumental event," Cee-Lo Green purred, two songs in to a rollicking set Thursday night at the W hotel in midtown Manhattan, the latest show in W's Symmetry Live Concert Series. "This deserves a toast." With a wink and his signature maniacal grin, the singer, whose highly praised third solo album, Lady Killer, dropped this week, raised a glass of champagne to himself. Hundreds of hands filled with Heinkens and vodka tonics joined him. Everybody took a healthy swig. Then Green flung off his cream-colored cape, revealing an immaculate matching suit underneath, and launched into "Champain," off his pre-Lady Killer, hype-stoking mixtape Stray Bullets. The man certainly knows how to entertain.
If National frontman Matt Berninger ever decides to change careers, he could be a preacher or a shaman or the dictator of a small country. During the hour and a half or so that he and his four bandmates (plus assorted guest players) commanded New York City's Terminal Five stage Thursday night, as part of the week-long SPIN25-ZYNC concert series, the elegant, epically tall singer transformed three-thousand sticky, demanding, and somewhat inebriated fans into an obedient mass of joyful disciples. When he raged, they raged. When he was still and pensive, they were still and pensive. When he danced awkwardly, thrashing his head along with twin guitarists' Aaron and Bryce Dessner's cacophonous noise, they thrashed too, and didn't care how they looked.