February 9th 2011
Nick La Rosa
It didn’t feel right to be sneaking in some golden arches goodness before going into the very plush Sydney City Recital Hall but the Australia Day hangover had to be cured.
Although the food helped, Melbourne lad Gotye was the real cure. He played a wondeful show to a very receptive audience keen to see Gotye live for the first time in a few years. Backed up by Tim Shiel and Lucas Taranto on a range of instruments (including more drum machines than you could poke a [drum]stick at) Gotye whizzed through his hour long set hardly missing a beat. Starting with a couple of new songs, Smoke and Mirrors was highlighted by an entertaining drum-off. He also got the crowd smiling with a witty track mimicking a phone call to a certain phone provider, props included.
A solo piano rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Seems So Long Ago, Nancy and a duet with special guest Tash Parker proved a nice interlude before Gotye played the most recent single, Eyes Wide Open. The song seemed to go up another level played live and when it was followed by crowd favourite Hearts a Mess, Gotye’s vocals took centre stage. The range and depth of Gotye’s voice is the thing that you really take away from the show; you sit and wait for those soaring vocals and when its over you want to hear them again and again. In the back of your mind you can tell that the backing tracks and vocals are in use but when he is playing drums (sitting and standing), xylophone, drum machines, oh and singing, who’s going to care?
Encouraging us to try and sneak back into the Beach House gig beginning in an hour in the same room, Gotye was in good spirits clearly excited by a solid show and the imminent release of what promises to be another interesting record.