Thursday night, rising star Milky Chance made its San Francisco debut in front of a sold out Popscene crowd at Rickshaw Stop. The electronic folk duo from Germany recently released their debut album Sadneccesary here in the U.S. (Check out our review to hear more about their music), after the album’s first single “Stolen Dance” racked up over 80 million YouTube views.
Milky Chance is one of those acts where you aren’t really sure what to expect going into the live experience. Waiting in line to get into the venue I overheard people trying to describe their music, “It’s like reggae right?” There are so many influences on their sound that it’s really hard to place it in a genre. There are folk, electronic and reggae influences, but the overall sound is unique and new. Perhaps that’s why, even as the opener, Milky Chance packed the Rickshaw Stop to the brim. The headliner, New York producer Chris Malinchak, was very good, but it was obvious most people were there to see Milky Chance. At least a quarter of the crowd left after their set.
Of everyone at the show, Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch (the duo themselves) seemed the most surprised to see the turnout for their show. Starting with their opening song, “Stunner,” they lightly laughed to themselves as each song ended — obviously stunned a bit to see they already had so many fans here. Rehbein played an uptempo gypsy-like guitar and led the vocals. Dausch manned a laptop and several sets of electronic drums to keep the pulsing beat going.
The crowd was so into the set that they did something I’ve never seen an opener do at a venue this size. After they closed with the hit single “Stolen Dance,” they thanked the crowd and started to leave the stage, but the crowd was so pumped up they actually came back for an encore. Openers don’t play encores. I don’t think this was planned. They ended the night with “Down by the River” and left a lasting impression on everyone that showed up for this impressive Bay Area debut.