Sunday, 17 February 2013

Gig Review - The Presets (16/02/13)

The Presets + The Tivoli + Brisbane + 16th February 2013 = AMAZING!

The Presets
Live at The Tivoli, Brisbane

Words by Jo Michelmore
Photos by Nayt Housman

I haven't been a fan of the The Presets from their beginning. I wasn't one of the cool kids that loved them in the mid-2000's when they released their first EP and the hype began. They were ok, but they were just another electronic act to me. I soon saw the light and began to appreciate the amazing that they are, but for me, The Presets were a slow burn. Having said that, it shouldn't be a surprise that I've never seen them play live before, they've just never made my cut. At music festivals there had always been someone I 'needed' to see more and to be honest, they fell into that dangerous category; the "they're local, I'll catch them somewhere, sometime" group of acts. On Saturday night, I found out I may have been missing something all this time.  

 Parachute Youth

The night began with fellow electronic buddies, Parachute Youth. While I've been tempted to call them 'Presets clones'; at The Tivoli on Saturday night they proved themselves to be a little more than that. Smashing through a little over a half hour set, they manage to do exactly what so many support acts fail to do, which is simply warm up the audience. Opening with 'Count To Ten' and closing with their current single 'Can't Get Any Better Than This' they got the room bouncing and hyped for what seems like is going to be an incredible show.

As people across the venue vie for position, the house lights dim and the sounds of 'Push' drift across the age old Tivoli. I immediately begin to think perhaps I've been right all this time, maybe I didn't need to see The Presets live; they might be one of those acts better on a dancefloor than a stage. This is where I learnt an important lesson. Like my love of The Presets themselves, sometimes you don't want to be blown away at the beginning because the slow burn is better, you're going to exert so much energy with the dancing and the excitement soon enough. That type of excitement came quickly, with the room exploding at the chorus of 'If I Know', followed by 'Promises' and 'Ghosts' straight after.

However, those songs couldn't prepare me for the incredible burst of energy and singalong during 'This Boy's In Love'. This is a band that are clearly adored by their fans and while I spend most of the gig staring at Kim and Julian and their fantastic graphics across four screens on stage (trying to figure out how two white t-shirt wearing average guys from Sydney could possibly be responsible for such dynamic sounds) every now and then I couldn't resist the urge to check out the audience, it's such a pleasure to see a venue full to capacity with fans so excited and happy to dance and bounce to those they adore. It's also incredibly addictive and a big part of what made this gig so much fun.

 Pointing. Lots of pointing at Presets gigs.

The songs continued on and the energy didn't fade; 'A.O.' is full of red lights and vitality, 'Surrender' is one of the many numbers that has Kim joining Julian at the front of the stage and closing song 'Talk Like That' is so full of life I never want the gig to end. Of course, it had to, but the way they went out with their encore 'Anywhere' was perfect. The slow burn that had become an intense, fun and incredible live music fire was extinguished subtly, with a gentle beat and a fabulous final dance.

It has taken me years to finally see The Presets and although I now (kind of) wish I'd seen them sooner, there's an image from this gig that I may not have experienced in another venue at another time. When I think of live music I love, I know The Presets and their amazing 'My People' is going to feature, because for four minutes I was jumping, dancing, smiling and screaming along with a couple of thousand others who, for a couple of minutes there, were my people. That's what live music should be; so, so much fun being shared with a whole bunch of strangers. Presets? The slow burn made you worth the wait. You're the best. The rest of my live music year has a lot to live up to.

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