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NEW YORK IRVING PLAZA

The sloppy earthlings at their feet beg to come along for another ride...

's appearance causes such chaos outside the venue, one might think Radiohead are giving a free show inside. The bouncers have clearly had enough of people trying to blag their way past the velvet ropes - and for guys who look like they'd rather be at home watching game one of the World Series, the crowd's hipper-than-thou attitude and alcoholic aggression add insults to injury.





But once Rinocerose take the stage, the urgency outside becomes clear. The nine-piece collective from Montpellier are outstanding in every respect, including the way the visuals projecting behind them pop with the music. With live flute, guitars, percussion and bass giving a massive kick to their house sound, the band silences critics who poo-poo electronic music as the soulless work of machines.





In fact, Rinocerose make such a connection with the people that at many points the whole house seems on the verge of orgasm. This could be a beach in Rio, with fluttery flute substituting for warm breezes, Latin grooves and hips everywhere that just won't quit. Songs like "Radiocapte", "Le Mobilier" and "Sublimior" eventually lead to "La Guitaristic House Organisation", which brings the crowd to its knees under a dusting of light from the disco ball.





The encore yields some of the only verbal communication from the band. "Thank you very much", founder/guitarist Jean-Phillippe Freu tells the ecstatic audience. "We are very, very happy to play here." He then dedicates "Mes Vacances a Rio" to legendary French,/b> house producer Francois Kevorkian. Before the end of the 75-minute set, Freu introduces the collective en francais.





Rinocerose leave to a barrage of noise and orange light beams that mimic a space ship taking off. The sloppy earthlings at their feet beg to come along for another ride.



Mia Quagliarello

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