Originally published on Virgin Media’s Red Room Blog.
By Amy Chyan
There were definitely more than 14 and a half fans shoulder dancing and foot tapping when Diamond Rings opened for Twin Shadow at Webster Hall on Friday night (Oct. 7). John O’Reagan (Diamond Rings) joked that when he played New York City two years ago, that’s how many fans showed up. Modesty (and perhaps honesty) seem to have helped fill the venue that night. ‘All Yr Songs’, Diamond Rings’ first hit single, was dedicated to those 14 and a half fans midway through the show.
Based in Toronto, Canada, Diamond Rings is O’Reagan’s solo project: simple recordings that started on a borrowed Macbook. Given at the door were rainbow banded eye masks, similar Diamond Rings’ eye make up on the front cover of his debut album ‘Special Affections’. (Think Ninja Turtles’ eye masks, in rainbow pattern. The sight of seeing the token inebriated girl dancing in circles with this mask on was somehow quite wonderful.)
Screams akin to groupies travelled through the crowd as the lights dimmed. Diamond Rings’ outfit consisted of black jeans, a DIY tank top that read: Clean Cuts Tour – Twin Shadow, Diamond Rings and an over sized denim jacket. Sunglasses and a black cap adorned with metal spikes on the front also completed the ensemble. The protruding silver spikes, each different in size and height, reflected the stage lights and dispersed them into the crowd. Diamond Rings’ cheekbones, already very distinguished, were colored with a saturated pink blush, contouring his face even more. Metallic lipstick polished the look with a brilliant sheen.
Although only a one man show, Diamond Rings switched between keys, guitar and preset synth material. (A little bit of rapping during ‘Show Me Your Stuff’ also had the crowd smitten.) The high energy set, accompanied by Diamond Rings’ signature full-of-extremities dancing had fans constantly in motion. Despite these characteristic dance moves looking a tad rigid, they strike with power and hit each beat purposefully, inviting everyone else to do the same.
Interactions with the crowd was constant. Diamond Rings’ enthusiasm during the set slipped through with his smiles and even sporadic high fives to those in the front row. His hit singles ‘All Yr Songs’, ‘Something Else’ and ‘Wait & See’ were invitations for the audience to sing and dance along. As the audience warmed up their limbs with a little dancing here and there, Diamond Rings undeniably ended the show with more than 14 and a half fans.