On Wednesday night, EQX put on the first big show that’s crossed my radar at Crossgates’ new venue, Jupiter Hall. Inside of Lucky Strike Social, which has a “gastro kitchen” restaurant, arcade, bowling alley, rec room featuring games like ping pong, corn hole, and pool, as well as a brand new 650 person music venue, Sylvan Esso and Lucy Dacus played to an enthusiastic, sold out crowd. With malls all over the country feeling the squeeze from online retailers, they’re scrambling to put music, carnivals, and more experience based offerings in these malls to bring in younger crowds, and to ultimately stay afloat.
Lucy Dacus opened the show, starting at exactly 8pm. As an opener for Sylvan Esso, Lucy Dacus was a great choice, as the full band delivered slow-burning indie rock songs with an admirable casualness. The crowd universally enjoyed Lucy’s big voice, and becuase of the slower cadence of Lucy’s music, those in attendance were sufficiently ready to jump around for the headliners. Sylvan Esso took the stage with force, playing a few loud, dancy songs to get the crowds blood pumping, and to set the tone for the rest of their set. They went through their catalog, performing songs new and old with more indie and minimal sensibilities alongside the big crowd pleasers.
Once the show came to a close, I had forgotten I’d been in the mall for a few hours. As weird as it felt to head into the mall at 8pm on a weeknight for a show, the venue itself it felt familiar. I’ve got a hunch it will become much less weird to head to Crossgates for a show if talent like this keep coming to town.