By Chris Arters
I Saw Gotye at the Tower on Friday night. Good show… clearly produced for a smaller venue. They were originally slated at the TLA – the Tower holds six times as many people and it was PACKED – not to mention, easily 2/3 of the crowd was female, a fact that a blind man could decipher from the cacophony of screams between songs. It was Gotye-mania, for goodness sake…!
Gotye certainly represents where music is trending – very “sample based” compositions. Elaborate animation videos throughout (most can be seen on YouTube). Gotye is certainly a drummer at heart – he plays a lot of percussion and pads loaded with samples. In fact, a great deal of the instrumentation was “control surfaces”. From a performance standpoint, too much of the band spent their time hunched over a pad controllers, making the videos all the more essential to the presentation.
The music is certainly good and worthwhile, the gap needs to be bridged between this highly technological presentation and actual “performance”. One additional technical critique is that due to the wispy nature of much of Gotye’s vocals, it was often very difficult to discern his singing through the mix – a more subtle engineering job is required to maintain the energy while allowing the soft vocal to make its statement. Again, this could partially be attributed to not being prepared for the significantly larger venue.
It was an enjoyable performance and he played the majority of his new album, and a good deal of the first – opening with “Eyes Wide Open” – a strong opening number.
Gotye’s performance was memorable and certainly felt like the last opportunity to see him in any sort of an intimate setting. As such, his performance takes its place in my personal pantheon of Tower concerts – Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, UK, UFO, Al DiMeola, Porcupine Tree and on…
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