Young & Sick Puts on Sensual Show at Baby's All Right

BY REGAN MCCROSKEY

It’s a Wednesday night at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg and its relatively quiet. That is, until more than a hundred Young & Sick and Mia Gladstone lovers trickle into the back hall of the bar, drinks and positive vibes in hand. Between Mia’s words of affirmation and glittery, opening R&B set, the audience downs drinks and the lights change to a mix of blue and purple hues. Finally, the stage is set for headliner Young & Sick.  

PHOTO: Regan McCroskey / BLENDED

PHOTO: Regan McCroskey / BLENDED

Young & Sick is both a music and art project spearheaded by Dutch artist Nick van Hofwegen. Going between L.A. and New York since 2011, Young & Sick is currently signed to Neon Gold Records and has continued to make album artwork for multiple artists, including Robin Thicke, Maroon 5, and Foster the People. This successful, artistic venture mixed with his blossoming music career shows how Young & Sick embodies a true artist.

Young & Sick doesn’t introduce himself, he gets right down to business, starting with the dazzling “Letting Go of Giving Up,” a track off his EP “No Static.” Nick is front and center with a live band to back him up as he flips back his ice blonde hair and adjusts the gold chains that hang from his neck. Resembling a young George Michael, Nick goes from jamming on the guitar and dancing with it to throwing flawless falsetto notes in the air with the mic.

As the entire audience gets thrown into the deep end of the Young & Sick experience, the guitar solo brings Nick to his knees during “Size of Relief,” a song about power and despair. He thanks the audience every couple of songs for coming out and gets back to business. The crowd — who knows each song by heart — is singing and dancing along, as if participating in a spiritual chant.

Someone in the crowd screams out “I love you” to which Young & Sick responds “I love you too, did we meet on Grindr?,” which sets the crowd into a roaring laughter. He announces that he will also be DJ-ing at the Graham at 10:30 if “anyone wants to keep hanging out”.

PHOTO: Regan McCroskey / BLENDED

PHOTO: Regan McCroskey / BLENDED

Young & Sick treats a show like an open rehearsal. There is no set way to stand, talk to the audience, or act. He’s there to simply let the audience experience his music live, and fall in love with its compelling beats and distinct, soulful tones. Nick’s freedom with his movement gives the audience permission to do the same, unwinding to the beat and letting the words fall over them.

It’s no surprise that Young & Sick is so comfortable onstage. He’s performed at Coachella and SXSW in 2014, SXSW in 2017, and finished a two-month tour supporting The Knocks in February. The last set of dates on the tour are for headline shows in L.A., D.C., and Philly.

Before finishing off his set with “Ojai,”  one of his most well-known songs (it was featured in a 2018 Apple Watch ad), Nick thanks everyone a final time, saying “I know there’s school in the morning. Thanks for coming out on a school night.”  

The surge of applause from the crowd confirmed the fun and groovy vibe that cascaded through the room. Young & Sick gave a colorful, beautiful, sensual show that brought his Spotify bio to life, in which he describes his musical goal “to give the listeners something to dance and cry to while having weird sex at the same time. In other words: go for it all, friend.”

Check out Nick’s Instagram to learn more about Young & Sick and his artwork.

Lead Image Credit: Regan McCroskey