Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Gig Review - Gotye (12/12/2012)

GOTYE (12/12/2012)
Supported by: Bertie Blackman
Live at the Brisbane Riverstage
Review by Jo Michelmore

Mid-week, exhausted, two weeks before Christmas. Probably my last live music experience before 2013 kicked in, this wasn’t my ideal time for a gig, but when I walked to the Riverstage last Wednesday night, I’m going to say, I wasn’t prepared for what I experienced. Having seen Gotye once before at Splendour 2011, I wasn’t convinced this was going to be the greatest gig of the year. At Splendour, even from the front row, he was somewhat reserved; I would maybe even say (ooh, dare I say it?) a little self-indulgent, slyly moving from drums to keyboards and not saying much in between. The highlight of that gig was seeing ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ performed live on stage for the first time with the delightful Kimbra and although that’s a memory I adore, the entire set wasn’t the greatest. Speaking to some friends at the announcement of his tour in October last year, they recommended I not see him live again, as they’d experienced a similar thing at a gig previously. This probably wasn’t a good thought process to attend with….or maybe it was?
How things change and that’s the beauty of live music, it can turn you into a fan quickly and on Wednesday night, I’m happy to say Gotye turned me around, picked me up, took me into his arms, gave me a gentle squeeze, a dance and then placed me back on the floor as a fan. This is one of the reasons I love live music so much and on Wednesday night Gotye reminded me of that.


Opening with The Only Way and moving straight into Easy Way Out, the stage was almost overwhelming; the lights, the sound, a small army of musicians and a giant screen of animation, it was hard to know what to focus on. Wally De Backer and his cute little skinny tie, the moves of the percussionist, the giant screen at the back? I decided if it was all too much a dance was the best way to go, so made my way to the front and held on for an experience of all the senses. Even with his massive global success this year, Gotye proved that so much fame has not gone to his head, instead, it probably gave him a sense of confidence such a talented musician deserves and throughout his set he was the ultimate gentleman, introducing his nine band members in between each song, dancing his way from keyboard to percussion to microphone and appreciating the response of the crowd. The obligatory clap a long and sing a long were welcomed warmly by a generous audience and even the weird variety show style antics of Barry Morgan, his one finger playing and his velvet jacket for State Of The Art were kind of cute and funny, something I totally didn’t expect from a Gotye gig.


Hearts A Mess was amazing, Bronte just beautiful and Dig Your Own Hole, a track that didn’t make the final Making Mirrors cut was a treat, but I suppose now one can’t mention a Gotye gig without mentioning ‘that’ song and it didn’t disappoint, Bertie Blackman in a rabbit/mouse/bear/koala/who-knows-what-that-was-suit taking Kimbra’s part was cute, and having seen Kimbra and Gotye perform it together I’m thinking no one will ever be quite big enough to fill her shoes but Bertie certainly gave it a good shot. Finishing with a rubber chicken and I Feel Better was the perfect end to such a fun and eye opening gig, one I walked into as a sceptic and walked out of as a fan. My last live music gig of the year, success.

Gotye, thanks for reminding me exactly why I’ve been to all those gigs this year; because ultimately, live music is amazing and Gotye, as your newest biggest fan, I kind of think you are too.

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