Tag Archives: sydney

james blake @ sydney opera house 29.07.2013

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Setlist:
Air & Lack Thereof
I Never Learnt to Share
Life Round Here
Overgrown
To The Last
CMYK
I Am Sold
Our Love Comes Back
Lindisfarne I
Lindisfarne II
Unluck
Limit to Your Love
Digital Lion
Klavierwerke
Voyeur
The Wilhelm Scream
Once We All Agree
Retrograde

Encore:
A Case of You

 

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garbage @ the event centre, sydney 06.03.2013

 

 

Setlist:
Push It
Queer
Metal Heart
Control
Blood For Poppies
Special
Why Do You Love Me
#1 Crush
I Think I’m Paranoid
I Hate Love
The Trick is to Keep Breathing
Cherry Lips
Man on a Wire
Stupid Girl
Cup of Coffee
Only Happy When it Rains
Vow
Beloved Freak

Encore
Automatic System Habit
When I Grow Up
You Look So Fine

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a perfect circle @ soundwave festival, sydney olympic park 24.02.2013

In what I felt was an arguably different vein from the rest of the bill, A Perfect Circle was probably the reason I went to Soundwave festival.

Most of the crowd at the front of the pit appeared to be staking out for a good spot to see Metallica a couple of hours later and seemed disappointed that their music was less mosh-able, in relative terms compared to Stone Sour who was last on this stage. 

Perhaps it was the crowd not being used to having the lead singer stand towards the back of the stage, almost removing any engagement with the audience. But having seen Maynard perform before, I knew what to expect, and seeing A Perfect Circle for the first time, I couldn’t care less. They were musically sound, and held their own as a headline act in the massive ANZ stadium despite a less than enthusiastic audience.

Setlist:
Annihilation
Imagine
Weak and Powerless
The Hollow
Passive
Rose
Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
By and Down
The Package
The Noose
When the Levee Breaks
The Outsider

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cat power @ enmore theatre 02.03.2013

the greatest.

 

Setlist:
The Greatest
Cherokee
Silent Machine
Manhattan
Human Being
King Rides By
Sun
Bully
Angelitos Negros (Pedro Infante)
Always on my Own
3, 6, 9
Nothin’ But Time
I Don’t Blame You
Peace and Love
Ruins

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godspeed you! black emperor at enmore theatre 14.02.2013

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Setlist:

Hope Drone
Mladic
Moya
Monheim
Chart #3
World Police and Friendly Fire
Behemoth

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crystal castles @ the hi-fi 17.01.2013

Tonight being the third time I was seeing Crystal Castles, I had a much better idea of what to expect from their live performance. And being the first time I was seeing them in an indoor venue like The Hi-Fi where the sound didn’t just dissipate into the atmosphere, it was perfect. From watching Alice Glass, the mysterious lead singer innately diving into the crowd more than a few times, to the convulsing sequence of lights, the experience was visceral. For me, it was difficult to pin down a specific highlight, as the energy sustained for the entirety of their 90 minute set with praise for their live drummer. Ethan Kath looked in his element as he head banged whilst operating various keyboards and synths. Wrath of God from the latest album, and Doe Deer were intense – but even more surprising was how engaging songs like Telepath, Reckless, and especially Intimate during the encore were. The 1500 or so people present had been caught in a trance by two elusive figures whom which most people don’t even know their real names, for an inexplicable mindfucking (for lack of a better word).

Setlist:

Plague
Baptism
Suffocation
Wrath of God
Doe Deer
Crimewave
Telepath
Alice Practice
Reckless
Celestica
Empathy
Vanished (Remix)
Black Panther
Not in Love

Encore:
Sad Eyes
Intimate
Yes No

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Coldplay @ Sydney Football Stadium 18.11.2012

Sure it’s true that for some people, it has gotten to the stage where it’s cool to hate Coldplay on account of their shameless attempt to be the biggest rock band in the world – but who cares especially if they produce songs that can be universally appreciated by the masses. As was the turnout, completely packing Sydney Football stadium, from the very young to the elderly, and Coldplay were exactly where they were meant to be.

Shortly after the lights went down, the show began, as fireworks erupted from the stage, the oval was showered with confetti, and the stadium lit up with each audience member’s wristbands, flashing in sync. It was difficult not to get caught up in the lights and sound that was Coldplay, as they played one of their singles from  Mylo Xyloto, Hurts Like Heaven. And if this wasn’t enough, they then unleashed the elaborately decorated giant balloons, and lasers during Major Minus.  The energy was high throughout the entire evening – the band were clearly enjoying themselves. It was hard to tell whether the audience or the band were happier to be there.  their songs brought infectious smiles towards the audience, especially The Scientist and Yellow. A more rock-oriented version of God Put a Smile Upon Your Face was played, which worked very well. There was a good mix of newer and older material, including Warning Sign also from A Rush of Blood to the Head, a nice contrast to how much the band’s sound has changed since their early days. The audience couldn’t wait to join in at every possible opportunity,  singing along with Chris Martin to Viva la Vida, and Paradise with not a care in the world.

The encore was played on a smaller stage in the midst of the standing audience as everyone on the floor scrambled to get a good view. Us Against the World and stripped down version Speed of Sound were both played beautifully. Returning to the stage, they played Clocks, a heartfelt Fix You, and finished off with the more upbeat Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, which was accompanied by a final display of pyrotechnics for the trip home, and a night well spent watching (and joining in with) a quartet of true performers.

Setlist:
Mylo Xyloto
Hurts Like Heaven
In My Place
Major Minus
Lovers In Japan
The Scientist
Yellow
Violet Hill
God Put a Smile Upon Your Face
Princess of China
Up In Flames
Warning Sign
Viva La Vida
Charlie Brown
Paradise

Encore:
Us Against The World
Speed of Sound

Encore:
Clocks
Fix You
Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

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Radiohead @ Sydney Entertainment Centre 12.11.2012

It wasn’t until Thom, Jonny, Ed, Colin and Phil finally took to the stage that the fact that I was seeing Radiohead live truly sunk in. They looked comfortable, as they launched into Bloom, the opener from their latest album The King of Limbs. The stage featured twelve LED panels which were repositioned in between songs, to great effect, in addition to the hypnotic visualisations accompanying the music.

Most of their songs were adapted for a more rock-orientated sound from their original recordings, with the help of a second drum kit. Songs like The Gloaming and Myxomytosis sounded drastically different to their album incarnations, retained their original punch.

Sydney was also lucky enough to hear a couple of new songs throughout the night – Staircase and Fullstop which sounded like a continuation of their sound in more recent albums but was well definitely well received by the crowd. It seemed as though each song received a lengthy applause, just in show of appreciation towards the band for making their way over to Australia again.

Radiohead played a string of songs from In Rainbows, including Videotape, Nude, and Lotus Flower, which was probably the first song played so far, which remotely resembled a ‘hit’. The impression that they were much happier playing newer material was immediately dispelled when distinctly familiar intro to Planet Telex was played.

This was followed by Feral which was a surprise highlight for me; especially hearing the vocal utterances live, layered throughout the song, not to mention the build up of bass towards the end of the piece.

After a hugely animated rendition of Bodysnatchers, they came back for the first of three encores, starting with the quieter and more subdued Give up the Ghost with just Thom and Jonny on stage. The band then re-entered as Jonny Greenwood took to the lead, bowing his electric guitar in a haunting performance of Pyramid Song, one of my favourites off Amnesiac. This was in stark contrast to Paranoid Android, which the crowd sang along to almost religiously.

The second encore featured 15 Step, then an epic, drawn out version of Everything In Its Right Place, with the repeating keyboard pattern building up as the band members left one by one, then came back for the final time to play Idioteque, finishing off an unforgettable show that was many years in the making for alot of people.

Setlist:

Bloom
Lucky
Morning Mr Magpie
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Myxomatosis
The Gloaming
Separator
Staircase
Videotape
Nude
Full Stop
Lotus Flower
There There
Planet Telex
Feral
Bodysnatchers

Encore:
Give Up the Ghost
Pyramid Song
These Are My Twisted Words
Reckoner
Paranoid Android

Encore:
15 Step
Everything In Its Right Place

Encore:
Idioteque

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zoë keating at clarendon guesthouse, katoomba 01.06.2012

The precise level of downpour, gentle yet steady with the odd trickling of water over the hilly town was an unexpectedly perfect backdrop for Zoë Keating’s performance at the Clarendon House. Katoomba, especially is probably one of the places in Sydney most closely resembling a forest, fitting with the sound of her latest album, Into the Trees. With a simple stage setup – two launch pads hooked up to her laptop, and a cello, the sound produced, a steady flow, filling the room. Zoë Keating made playing the cello seem effortless as her  every bow stroke was amplified crisply throughout the room. As an audience member, I was purely transfixed by her fingerwork, skating across the cello’s fingerboard, all the while operating the loops at the correct time. It was a breath of fresh air to hear the cello being used in a contemporary setting, and not subject to classical music confines.

Zoë Keating used a range of techniques, showing the versatility of the cello is, plucking and percussively tapping with the back of the bow in Tetrishead, a song about fitting together musical ideas. This did not detract from the flow, the audience mesmerised by her subtle swaying movements with her cello, an extension of her instrument. The basslines were hauntingly beautiful, especially layered together then harmonised. Exurgency (from the early EP, One Cello x 16) was a song that demonstrated the complexity of setting up her music live. Zoë explained how  she was only able to play it as a result of significant improvements in RAM, trading in loops for the laptop.  It was great to hear several songs, including The Path played very differently to the record, incessantly transforming over time, with the use of the cello’s bridge to produce rhythm, Zoë joking (probably not) that tonight’s was The Path version  4.3. She rounded up the evening with a more upbeat song, Optimist, which was written after becoming a parent.

Alot of people were at the venue for some Friday night entertainment, but by the end of it, it was unmistakable that the crowd appreciated Zoë Keating’s talent, and watching her playing an instrument she truly has a passion for.

Setlist
Escape Artist
Seven League Boots
Sun Will Set
Tetrishead
Frozen Angels
Exurgency
Fern
The Path
Lost
Optimist

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bryce dessner, nico muhly & sufjan stevens at the opera house 28.05.2012

Originally billed as a collaboration between three musicians but with no further information until fairly close to the performance itself, this classical pop concert was probably what most who turned up tonight at the Sydney Opera House would have expected. This is coming from three musicians that would most likely be near the top of a compiled list of pop musicians with classical music composition skills, fairly different from four minute structured verse-chorus-verse-type songs.  (Although we are speaking of Sufjan Stevens here, so perhaps this is an exception).

As a huge fan of Sufjan Stevens and The National’s entire back catalogue, as well as many of the projects that Nico Muhly has been involved with (Antony and the Johnsons, Phillip Glass, Jonsi, Grizzly Bear), I was already predisposed to enjoy this mash-up of musical talent. The first part, a recital by the Orava String Quartet of Sydney, who were very young and visibly nervous (it was probably one of their first performances for an audience the size of the Opera House), unfortunately was not always coherent. Diacritical Marks, by Nico Muhly, clearly alluded a certain contemporary music pioneer, Steve Reich, in its variations on a theme, and rhythms, building and exploring the range and depths of sound. Needless to say, the dynamics were well emphasised by the string quartet, who were clearly on top of their game, at points the force of their playing severing the bow horsehairs mid-song. Sufjan Stevens’ part was an arrangement of three songs off Run Rabbit Run, which proved to be slightly more structured as a conventional pop piece by Sufjan Stevens’ standards. This was then followed by Bryce Dessner’s Aheym which was a more rough composition, and as described by Dessner, “metal arranged for string quartet”.

Following a short interval, the three musicians were ready to play Planetarium, with a backing ensemble comprised of 7 trombonists, the Orava String Quartet, as well as a drummer. This resembled, much more closely, what a pop collaboration between the three would sound like. With Bryce on his guitar, Nico at the keys, and Sufjan providing vocals, the audience was transported on a journey through space. A massive orb hanging from the centre of the stage had moving images projected into it, emulating the planets from the songs. Nico Muhly,  was the most talkative on stage, at a point, joking that the most controversial part of the show, was performing Pluto, which was demoted to a stellar body.

The use of the vocoder could have been considered slightly excessive, despite keeping with the ‘space’ theme. I think he may have gotten carried away with it, after using it in the recording Age of Adz. The evening was filled with music that had the depth of Sufjan’s career, from the quieter and fragile Venus, written about love, (obviously!) to seven minute epics, including the fierce Mars, Saturn, and Earth, with Nico Muhly’s faultless work on the keyboards and the celeste, also multi-tasking with conducting hand gestures in the corner of my eye providing a signal that the band was building up.  Dessner’s solo guitar work complimented the pieces well, bowing the guitar in Earth to great effect. As a whole, their performance came across as delicate and poignant in their interpretation of the planets. (even if some of them were no longer planets – as long as it makes for good music.)

PART 1 – STRING QUARTETS Performed by the Orava String Quartet

By Nico Muhly Diacritical Marks   (in eight movements)

By Sufjan Stevens Run Rabbit Run
i. Year of the Boar
ii. Year of the Horse
iii. Year of Our Lord

By Bryce Dessner:  Aheym

INTERVAL

PART 2 – PLANETARIUM Composed and performed by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly & Sufjan Stevens
“Planetarium”

Neptune (instrumental)
Jupiter
Venus
Uranus
Mars
The Sun
Pluto
The Moon
Saturn
Earth
Mercury

Encore:
Neptune

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