MiMOSA Does West Coast Proud at Webster Hall – East Coast loves it!
Two hours before he is set to hit the stage, Tigran Mimosa is pacing around an empty Webster Hall. The room is devoid of people, but filled with a cacophony of drum kicks and wobbling bass. MiMOSA stands completely still in the center of the room, head bowed as he listens to his own music rattling the rafters of the club, before swaggering up to the stage to make tiny adjustments to his turntables. One more lap around the room, and he throws a thumb up into the air: he’s ready.
The 23-year-old EDM-star-on-the-rise has played Redrocks, Electric Zoo and Burning Man this summer in anticipation of his full-length debut album “Sanctuary.” Since the album’s release last month, he has been touring the country, starting with the East Coast. The California-born DJ told me backstage before his firstparty recapever show at Webster Hall that his West Coast upbringing is one of the biggest influences on his music.
He wasn’t kidding. The show began with a booming remix of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s hit “N*ggas in Paris,” as MiMOSA appeared from out of the darkness. Later, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “The Next Episode” looped through several songs, with Nate Dogg’s classic refrain sped up and backed by waves of bass. Finally, Lauryn Hill’s “Ready or Not” played opposite Luniz’s 1995 West Coast anthem “I Got Five On It.” After a while, I started to question whether I was at a hip-hop show or an electronic show. MiMOSA did the West Coast proud, and the East Coast was loving it.
But electronica is the backbone of MiMOSA’s sound, and while he plays with tempos and samples some songs that were older than certain members of the crowd, it’s clear he was there to get the party started. The skinny, mohawked MiMOSA, who was humble and almost bashful backstage, TURNED into an onstage dynamo once the first bass line dropped. Illuminated from behind by a LED light pyramid that changed color like a cuttlefish, the man himself was in silhouette for much of the show, pumping his fists and rocking his arms back and forth.
The LED pyramid began showing what looked like churning DNA models, lit up in bright reds and neon blues. Standing in the balcony, a US Naval officer in full uniform sidled up next to me and removed his cap. He clapped me on the back and looked out, surveying the smoke, and laser lights, and pulsating crowd. He has served his country for four years, and had reached the status of E-5 Second Petty Officer. His fellow officers down on the floor were dancing wildly, and one fellow officer had even made his way onto the stage to a chorus of cheers. The officer next to me smiled, and said: “This is not something you see halfway across the world.”
Photographs by Maverick Inman