After postponing shows at the desperately undersized Toff in Town, New York’s polarising and sultry songstress Lana del Rey made it to Australian shores and delivered the first of two nights at the far larger Palace. Whilst her voice didn’t always hit the mark, del Rey is an engaging and beguiling stage presence. However a set that clocks in at barely 50 minutes is a poor return on a $75 ticket – particularly for a patient fan base who in some cases had waited since the morning to secure prime position.
Full Gallery: Lana Del Rey
Went to the show? See if you can spot yourself in the gallery: S Club/Big Brovaz
When – and where – will it end?
With the Australian dollar still enjoying giddy heights against the US dollar and the Pound, 90s and 2000s acts far and wide have been clambering aboard long haul flights to grab some quick cash from the Antipodes. Sadly, some of these acts possess the integrity and dignity of the current economy in Greece.
Whilst not even 12 months have passed since their last visit, Leeds lads the Kaiser Chiefs took to the same stage in Melbourne they’d played last August to deliver a hit-packed set. Promoting their singles retrospective Souvenir, the 5 piece had the whole stage to themselves whilst in the middle of festival slots for the annual Groovin’ The Moo Festival.
When you’d love to tour but your lead vocalist died 15 years ago, you’ve got a problem. INXS don’t seem to think so, but that’s probably not consistent with the rest of the world’s view.
In 1996, Sublime lost their lead vocalist and guitarist Bradley Nowell to a heroin overdose, and that was all, she wrote.
Only, it wasn’t. Some 13 years later, guitarist Rome Ramirez was added to the lineup, and Sublime with Rome was born.
Tonight in Melbourne, only one member of Sublime was on stage – bass player Eric Wilson - meaning that what older fans of Sublime got was a few layers removed from what they remembered.
But first, it was the job of Beautiful Girls frontman Mat McHugh to warm up the crowd. And he did so admirably, delivering a mix of his own creations, and covers of some little known artists including Madonna, U2 and The Police. All were given his unique treatment and it was a set that worked well, despite his own apparent initial apprehension. (more…)
The Vengaboys paved the way earlier this year for the invasion of hideous 90′s Europop superannuation tours to our shores. This has since seen the likes of a watered-down S Club 7 and the inexplicable Eiffel 65 announce tours of their own.
When it comes to 90s Europop though, there are few who were bigger than Denmark’s Aqua. What no one saw coming however (well, except perhaps promoters who are no doubt giggling away as I type) was that the Danish purveyors of all things happy and poppy would sell out three shows at the impressively sized Palace Theatre in Melbourne.
Yup. Three nights.
Choosing to have a crack at convincing the crowd that they can still deliver pop tunes like they did when Barbie Girl was invading our eardrums, Aqua open with a new tune – Playmate To Jesus. Vocalists Lene Nystrøm and René Dif are energetic, the former prowling the stage like a cat in spiked Doc Martens, and the latter getting down into the crowd during the early parts of the set.
Whilst the newer tunes get a pretty decent reception, it’s the offerings from 1996′s über-smash fun time happy song collection Aquarium that predictably delights the crowd.
The first of these is Dr Jones, the successful-in-its-own-right follow up to Barbie Girl. The crowd – comprised predominantly of folk in their mid 20′s – were in incredible voice and were clearly there for a damn good time. Coloured hair, some bizarre outfits and even a lone fan up front wearing Danish warpaint all crammed into the floor area.
A first for me – two Norwegian groups in as many months, though it’s fair to say that the electro offering from Tromsø natives Röyksopp is about as far removed from the set I witnessed by countrymen Combichrist last month as Norway is from Melbourne.
Comparisons therefore end here. Not that there were any to start with really. Other than being Norwegian… and dressing up.
Carrying passports bearing the names Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge , Röyksopp kick off their Big Day Out sideshow at Melbourne’s Palace complex to a packed crowd on the lower two levels. It’s a crowd that are aged the other side of thirty to many other Big Day Out revelers, but treated to Röyksopp’s first Australian tour since forming in 1998, they were in great voice. Not to mention armed with some pretty decent moves.
The opening was epic – emerging through the smoke and backlit lights, the duo, joined by a couple of bass players in costumes that probably wouldn’t have got you into Stylus back in the day, kicked off almost ten minutes of building electronica. 2005′s Alpha Male was lapped up by the crowd.
Happy Up Here followed, with Berge stepping out from behind the wall of synths to prowl the stage. Plenty of the sounds are pre-recorded, but Röyksopp seem to have the balance right between being true to the sounds and putting on a live spectacle for their fans.
A huge highlight tonight was the inclusion of The Alcoholic, the first time anything from Senior – 2010′s ambient follow up to Junior – has been played live. It’s a welcome slowdown to a frenetic first hour.
It’s a brilliant venue for the Norwegians with a dedicated local following, and by far the best Norwegian act I’ve seen this year…
Photos taken for Tone Deaf
For those who hadn’t caught LA indie-pop trio Foster The People on the Big Day Out’s green stage the previous day – or perhaps just wanted to catch them again – Melbourne’s Palace dished up that opportunity for holders of one of the hottest tickets in town.
The three piece, led by songwriter and apparent naming-rights sponsor Mark Foster, delivered a set that was as polished as the floor of the old Metro Nightclub wasn’t.
With only their 2011 album Torches under their belt, this was never going to be a long set, but after a promising opening from Brisbane act Last Dinosaurs, Foster The People burst onto the stage with Houdini, and whilst generally speaking there weren’t too many surprises – Helena Beat and Call It What You Want were obvious crowd favourites – the now obligatory encore did throw something unexpected up.
Last year, fellow LA residents Weezer covered Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks, and did a pretty damn fine job of it. So, to return the favour, Foster introduced his band’s cover of Weezer’s 1994 track Say It Ain’t So. It scrubbed up well and proved one of the night’s highlights.
Unsurprisingly, Pumped Up Kicks closed the night, and it saw Foster climb into the crowd, hoisted up by the fans on the floor as bandmates Mark Pontius (Drums) and the quite brilliantly named Cubbie Fink (Bass) watched on.
A solid set that delivered what you’d expect with a minimum of fuss, but, perhaps surprisingly, not a lot more than that. Still, as a young band about to embark on the recording of their ‘difficult second album’, they’ll return to these shores in a couple more years armed with more songs, more shows under their belts and will again play to an army of iPhones held high above heads recording the entire concert.
Perhaps by then they’ll be iPhone 5′s?