Vivid Sydney: Music Wrap
News posted Tuesday, June 5 2012 at 02:00 PM.
Related: The Temper Trap, Seekae, PVT, Vivid, Florence + The Machine, Efterklang, My Brightest Diamond, Janelle Monae, Sufjan Stevens, Imogen Heap, Karen O, Cory Doctorow, Amon Tobin, LCD Soundsystem.
After a jam-packed 10-night music schedule that included a number of Australian premieres and specially commissioned shows, the 2012 edition of Vivid Sydney has come to an end. Here’s a final recap of all things Opera House from JIM POE, CAITLIN WELSH, JACK TREGONING and KATIE CUNNINGHAM. Until next year, Vivid.
Day 1: Florence + The Machine, PVT
KC: “Even at just one song in, it’s obvious why Florence has drawn such a devoted and diverse crowd. She is eminently likeable; she’s effortlessly graceful and - holy fuck - that voice.” Read the full review
Day 2: Efterklang, Modular Night, APRA Song Summit
CW: “This being a Modular party, the Opera House Studio was inevitably dotted with posses of identikit bros, gussied-up American Apparel types and escapees from the State Home For The Unintentionally Hilarious. The best examples of the latter had unfortunately found their way behind the decks between bands, tag-teaming some really average semi-ironic funk and house and giggling into their glasses of bubbly when they fucked up a crossfade.” Read the full review
Day 3: Seekae, My Brightest Diamond, Janelle Monae
JP: “This is what a festival’s all about – taking risks, experimenting in public, making weird connections and seeking elusive magic. Not that Seekae play it safe anyway. They offer a plethora of different takes on contemporary electronica, sometimes venturing into dark, glitchy, abstract territory reminiscent of Casino Versus Japan, and then back out again with bright little jewels of burnished, shimmering electro-pop.” Read the full review
Day 4: Stevens/Dessner/Muhly, APRA Song Summit
CW: “It seems almost heretical to say so, and especially ungrateful considering that the songs themselves are so sweepingly, satisfying beautiful – but I actually could have done with slightly less Sufjan. He draws focus whatever he does, so it felt a little like a Sufjan show. His repeated use of the vocal treatments felt unnecessary and even trite – OK, computer-voice man, we get it, it’s SPACE. Quite a lot of the lyrics were near unintelligible. Most were poignant, though, throwing the epic scale of the solar system against Stevens’ small, human emotions.” Read the full review
Day 5: Imogen Heap
JP: “I’m soon taken in. Heap’s spacey rambling, which reminds me of Eddie Izzard’s, is funny, charming and at times highly emotional. Her stories about her creative processes are pretty cool; she based one song on a fan’s recording of an unborn child’s heartbeat; another was a sonic collaboration with the citizens of Hangzhou, China.” Read the full review
Day 6: Karen O in ‘Stop the Virgens’
JP: “On its own terms, Stop the Virgens delivers the goods. It’s dynamic, fabulous and a feast for the senses. But it’s lacking depth, to say the least. As theatre or opera it doesn’t work without narrative; the music kicks ass but keeps getting upstaged. The one real, undeniable thing is Karen O’s explosive voice.” Read the full review
Day 7: The Temper Trap, FBi Party
CW: “Dougy Mandagi is their not-so-secret weapon and sounds wonderful, but from our point-blank seats he’s incredibly irritating to watch. He’s got what my better half calls “a case of the Wembleys” – dipping the mic stand, posturing and overacting like he’s lording it over a stadium. He also repeatedly engages in hacky boy band shit like the Lat Pulldown of Emotion (two fists, downward motion with the elbows, earnestness) and tapping his heart while singing about his heart. That’s some junior rock eisteddfod shit, dude. Read the full review
Day 8: Future Classic Party, Cory Doctorow
JP: “The interesting thing is, here on the dancefloor this stuff doesn’t actually sound very “minimal” or “micro” at all. It’s chock-a-block with gorgeous strings, playful synths and keys, tribal drums and haunting soulful vocals. It just sounds like really beautiful and well-done house with a tech edge.” Read the full review
Day 9: Amon Tobin’s ‘ISAM’, GoodGod Danceteria
JT: “This concert’s been a long time coming and there’s a palpable buzz. It’s hard to miss the alarming red signs around the foyer: ‘Amon Tobin Is Very Loud, Ear Plugs Are Available.’ Thankfully the ushers have whole boxes full, and all around the Concert Hall ears are plugged with multi-coloured foam buds.” Read the full review
Day 10: ‘Shut Up and Play the Hits’
CW: “It’s hard to gauge what the appeal of SUAPTH would be to the casual pop listener, but for LCD fans it serves as an apology, a farewell, an explanation, a poor fucking substitute, a raw love letter. It takes the band that little bit closer to being truly iconic, and it’s hard not to come out loving them more.” Read the full review