Thursday, October 05, 2017

Oh Mercy- National Park Tour

It's been a year since Oh Mercy last played a show in Melbourne, and tonight they were back at the nightclub Hugs & Kisses in support of the new single "National Park." Opening the evening was James Moloney & the Mad Dog Harrisons with James doing a solo set on acoustic guitar which included a cover of Tom Petty And The Heartbreaker's "Refugee." Next up was the band Ern Malley, who played a fantastic set with their 1970s rock/alt-country vibe. I was quite impressed and will be keeping an eye out for them in the future.

The latest incarnation of the Oh Mercy live band includes all guys this time (the first time there hasn't been a female member in the mix). The hour long set showcased some of the new songs which will appear on the new album due to be released in early 2018. The highlights for me were "Hideous Place" (standout track of the night), the driving rhythm of "Hot Topic," the excellent "National Park" and the slow ballad "Auto Bellissimo," which Alex joked he wants to go viral in Italy (and also led to him singing a snippet of the La Porchetta commercial jingle). Alex had quite a few funny moments throughout the night, whether it was puns, praising Jesus and making a Hillsong reference, comparing a song to a jeep commercial, or doing a shout out to Cameron Daddo and SmoothFM.

We were treated to some Burt Bacharach with a cover of "This Guy's In Love With You" and a few lines of "Walk On By." Older Oh Mercy songs in the set were "My Man" and "Deep Heat" off the Deep Heat album, and the When We Talk About Love tracks "Can't You Hear My Body (Calling Out To You)," "Lady Eucalyptus" solo and "Sandy," which closed out the night. I ran into Alex on the way into the venue, and Mary and I had a brief chat with him after the show and he was as gracious as always. It will be great when the new album is finally released (especially since it's been done for a while).

Here's the video for "National Park" (shot in Castlemaine):

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Dan Sultan- Killer Tour

Last night Danny, Ruth and I headed to the newly renovated Forum Melbourne to see Dan Sultan play in support of his latest album Killer. We arrived as William Crighton took the stage, opening his set by singing a capella without a microphone. He and his band played a strong set of songs off his debut album, which tell fantastic stories that are based around the Australian countryside.

Dan's band came out on stage first before he joined them, pumping up the crowd as he launched into "Magnetic." The majority of the set featured songs off Killer, with the highlights being "Hold It Together," "Drover," "Reaction" and the current single "Kingdom." The addition of two female back-up singers really added a soulful sound to all the songs, and Dan's voice sounded the best I have ever heard it live.

There were also tracks from Dan's previous albums played throughout the set, including "Kimberley Calling," "The Same Man" and "Under Your Skin" off Blackbird, and "Your Love Is Like A Song" off his first album Homemade Biscuits. For the encore Dan came out and did a lovely solo version of "Dirty Ground" before the band rejoined him for the classic "Old Fitzroy" to finish off the night. If you get a chance to catch Dan live on this tour make sure you go see him because he is in fine form.

Here's the video for one of my faves "Hold It Together"

Thursday, August 31, 2017

MWF- Janet Mock: Visability and Voice

I first heard writer and transgender activist Janet Mock on the podcast Politically Re-Active so was excited when it was announced she would be coming to speak at the Melbourne Writers Festival. It was a packed house at Deakin Edge in Fed Square as Janet took to the stage to give a speech and presentation about her life, including growing up as a trans women of color in Hawaii, and moving to New York City in her twenties and working as a magazine editor before going public about being transgender. She paid tribute to the trans activists that have come before her and spoke about the importance of having an intersectional and inclusive movement that fights for the rights of everyone.

Benjamin Law then led a short Q&A before inviting the audience to ask questions. It was lovely to see how important Janet was to those in the LGBTIQ community that came to see her tonight. It was also interesting to hear her take on the marriage equality vote here and how it compares to the current situation in the US around transgender bathroom and military bans. Janet spoke about the fact that a lot of people felt their work was done with the US Supreme Court ruling, which has allowed conservatives to target other groups, including trans people. She urged everyone to continue the fight for social justice until everyone shared the same rights and privileges.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

People Of Letters

The literary salon Women Of Letters holds events each month in Melbourne at The Thornbury Theatre to celebrate the lost art of letter-writing with people from different fields. Occasionally they invite men along to participate in either Men Of Letters or like this afternoon, People Of Letters events. Hosted by Angie Hart, today we had pairs of people (friends, siblings, partners) who wrote and read letters to each other.

The afternoon started with comedian Joel Creasey and television and radio personality Chrissie Swan talking about their friendship, where we learned the phrase "bitch cheese." Next up were the most moving letters of the afternoon from co-directors of Chapter Music and life partners Guy Blackman and Ben O'Connor, who talked about their lives together and love for each other. Then we heard from life long friends musician Clare Bowditch and actress Defah Dattner, who have been there for each other through many key life stages.

After an intermission the next three pairs took to the stage. Siblings and writers Benjamin Law and Michelle Law spoke about growing up together and what they meant to each other. Former WA Senator and Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens Scott Ludlam and his friend and Communications Advisor David Paris talked about life in politics and wishing they had looked into Scott's citizenship before he first took office nearly ten years ago. The final pairing was musician Paulie Stewart and his mentee, rapper Fablice Manirakiza (aka FLYBZ) who was a former child soldier in Burundi and refugee who arrived in Australia in 2007. They ended the event by getting everyone up out of their seats to dance along as Fablice rapped a song. Overall it was a moving and inspiring afternoon about the importance of relationships and bonds between people.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

MIFF- Step and City Of Ghosts

Today was the last day of the MIFF and my final two films of this year's festival. I began my afternoon with the documentary Step about the girls representing the Lethal Ladies step team from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. The film focuses on three of the girls as they go through their senior year of high school and try not only to win the state level step competition but also get into college. It's a fantastic film that honestly shows the struggles the girls and their families face, along with the great support provided by school staff and their step coach to help the girls to succeed.

Next I watched the documentary City Of Ghosts about the Syrian citizen journalists from the website Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (R.B.S.S.) who documented the atrocities of ISIS' occupation of their city. Risking their lives to show the world what is happening in their homeland, this group of men fight against ISIS not with guns but by transmitting the truth and facts to counteract the ISIS propaganda machine. The men end up in exile in Turkey and Germany, but still work with informants inside Syria to get stories of the war and realities of life under ISIS out to the public. It's a difficult film to watch, but one that is really important for everyone to see.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kimbra- Audio Electric

The Supersense Festival is on at the Arts Centre Melbourne this weekend, and tonight Kimbra performed at the Playhouse, doing her show Audio Electric for the first time in Australia. Kimbra came out onto the stage wearing a neon yellow dress that glowed under the lights along with some black lace up platform boots. Joined by musicians Spencer Zahn and Timon Martin, this unique audio-visual performance featured mainly new songs along with some amazing 3D computer animations projected onto the screen at the back of the stage. The new material was more electronic and beats focused, with Kimbra's voice sounding as strong as ever.

Kimbra was so excited to be back in Melbourne for the first time in years and was very appreciative of the love from the sold out crowd. Besides the new songs, we were also treated to reworked versions of older tracks throughout the hour long set with "Settle Down" and "Two Way Street" off the album Vows as well as The Golden Echo's "Love In High Places" and a beautiful rendition of "As You Are." To finish off the night she played the recent single "Sweet Relief." Despite some technical glitches at the start the show was an immersive experience and I look forward to the release of her new album.

Here's the video for "Sweet Relief"

Saturday, August 12, 2017

MIFF- Something Quite Peculiar, Westwind and Mountain

On Wednesday night I attended two more MIFF documentaries. The first was Something Quite Peculiar: The Life and Times of Steve Kilbey. The film focuses on Steve's 40+ years in the music industry, mainly as the lead singer of The Church. While the film covers the history of the band, it focuses more on the present day and doesn't use much archival footage. It also uses their greatest known song "Under The Milky Way" as a character throughout the film. It's an interesting device which I don't think quite works. Steve Kilbey himself is quite honest about his past and present and needing to continue to tour in The Church for money. One of the funniest lines in the film is when he admits that in the 1980s he autographed a bunch of albums as Neil Finn. After the screening we had a Q&A with both Director Mike Brook and Steve Kilbey. A few members of the audience voiced their concern that Steve was a bit harsh on the Gold Afternoon Fix album (which I really like), but Steve feels it was The Church paint-by numbers. It's not your typical documentary, but was still interesting to watch.

My second film on Wednesday night was the world premiere of the film Westwind: Djalu's Legacy. We had a Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy and short musical performance by some of the key people in the film before it started. Filmed over eight years it tells the story of Yolngu elder and master Yidaki (didgeridoo) player Djalu Gurruwiwi. As the keeper of his people's Songlines and culture, he is desperate to pass them on to his son Larry, who is not quite ready to take on the responsibility. As Djalu allows outsiders to come and learn about culture and the Yidaki from him, he develops an unlikely friendship with Wally De Backer (aka Gotye), who manages to help bridge the musical gap between Djalu and his son. The film culminates with their performance together at WOMADelaide. After the screening we got to hear from Producer Kate Pappas, Director Ben Strunin and Djalu and Larry Gurruwiwi in the Q&A session.

Today I got to see the breathtaking film Mountain, which was a collaborative project between Director Jennifer Peedom, Artistic Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra Richard Tognetti, and author Robert Macfarlane. Exploring the increasing human fascination with mountains, footage was primarily sourced from that shot by Jennifer Peedom and cinematographer Renan Ozturk, along with other Go-Pro and drone material from high adventure athletes. The score by Tognetti includes original pieces as well as ones from classical composers, and the film is narrated by actor Willem Dafoe. Being able to see this film on a massive screen was fantastic, and some of the shots of people climbing up sheer wall faces or skiing down from the tops of mountains is nerve wracking. There was a Q&A after the screening with Director Jennifer Peedom where she described the process of putting this film together and collaborating with the others.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

MIFF- The Song Keepers and Ingrid Goes West

I began this evening of MIFF films with the documentary The Song Keepers about the Central Australian Aboriginal Women's Choir. These women (and two men) from remote towns in the Northern Territory come together to sing 14th-century Lutheran hymns that were brought over by German missionaries. The really special thing is that they sing them in language. The film focuses on their 2015 tour of Germany with their choirmaster Morris Stuart. It's a lovely film that tells the story of the choir members and how they have kept their culture alive. After the screening we were incredibly lucky to have the choir there to sing a few songs and then do a Q&A.

My next film was the American dark comedy Ingrid Goes West. It stars Aubrey Plaza as Ingrid Thorburn, a troubled social media addict who becomes infatuated with Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an Insta-star and social media influencer. Ingrid moves to Los Angeles and manages to insinuate herself into Taylor's life. This movie is like the Instagram version of Single White Female, and is a biting commentary on the truth behind those living a #blessed life on social media.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

MIFF- Faces Places and The Go-Betweens: Right Here

Today's Melbourne International Film Festival films were both documentaries. I began my afternoon with the French film Faces Places, which featured the pairing of French New Wave artist Agnes Varda with the much younger street artist JR. The film follows them as they drive around rural France in a mobile photo lab van photographing people and doing large scale paste ups of images both past and present. They meet some interesting people along the way and hear about their personal stories and the history of the villages they visit. The pair also develops a sweet relationship and rapport with each other, and bring together their artistic talents to create some amazing large scale pieces. I absolutely loved this film and cannot recommended it highly enough.

Next I saw The Go-Betweens: Right Here, a film that chronicles the life and times of the Brisbane band and the relationship between its founders Robert Forster and Grant McLennan. The film is organised chronologically from the mid-1970s to mid-2000s, and intersperses archival photos, audio and video footage with present day interviews with each band member as well as the people around them in the scene at the time. I really liked the device used by Director Kriv Stenders of having a rural Queensland property as the base where each band member came and went from the house to document their time in the band as they experienced it. There were many turbulent times, including line-up changes, their break-up in 1989 and Grant's untimely passing of a heart attack in 2006, which is where the film ends. We were fortunate to have both Kriv Stenders and Robert Forster do a Q&A after the screening, in which Robert joked that he felt he came across too serious and would be more funny in a future film. It's a very well done documentary done by someone who intimately knew the band and its importance to Australian musical history.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

MIFF- The House Of Z, Pecking Order and Patti Cake$

It's that time of year again with the start of the Melbourne International Film Festival this week. On Friday night I went to see my first MIFF film, the documentary The House Of Z on the American fashion designer Zac Posen. It covered his childhood growing up in an artistic family in NYC, and the rise of his fashion label with his mother and sister working by his side. As his popularity grew he got funding support from Sean Combs ("the hip-hop years"), but his celebrity and the GFC ultimately led to the downfall of the label and his relationships with family members. Zac then started over from scratch, assembling a new team and going back to his atelier roots to re-energise his creativity. With interviews from all the key players in Zac's life and fashion label, it's an interesting insight into what can happen when you gain success at such an early age.

Tonight I started my evening with the New Zealand documentary Pecking Order about the members of the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club. It covered not only the internal (and generational) politics of the club, but also everyone's preparations for the annual National Show, which was like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for chickens. There were some amazing characters in the film, and we were fortunate enough to have Director Slavko Martinov introduce the film and do a Q&A after the screening, where he spilled some of the secrets of the bird show circuit.

My other film for the night was the drama/comedy Patti Cake$, which featured Aussie actress Danielle Macdonald as Patricia Dombrowski, an aspiring rapper from New Jersey. With her friend Hareesh by her side, they strive to make their dreams come true while facing down the doubters both within the community and her own family (her mother is brilliantly played by comedian Bridget Everett). Once Patti and Hareesh encounter the African-American anarchist Basterd they form an unlikely musical union under the name PBNJ and record a demo in the hopes of breaking into the music business. It's a great film about not giving up on your dreams and being resilient in the face of adversity.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Gertrude Street Projection Festival 2017

It's the tenth anniversary of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, which has grown over the years to become a key cultural event in Melbourne each winter. Once again there were a wide variety of different projections displayed on the facades and alleyways along Gertrude Street.

Of the smaller wall projections I really liked Peter Waples-Crowe with Megan Evans piece Squatters & Savages which showed colonial occupation from both perspectives. Riza Manalo's Visitor III demonstrated the fluidity of physical movement, while Glynn Urquhart's Future Flesh Forms explored the interactions of technology and living tissue through 3D animation.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Once again this year the Atherton Gardens had different installations on display. Some of my favorites were Anne Truong and Dave Anderson's Light Cycles, Annie Edney's Moon Ball, Toggles Alternate Power Generator with its moving mobile and Prativa Thamang's Fall Into The Skies.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

It took a week to get working, but there were also large scale projections on the Atherton Towers, this year on the Atherton Gardens side of the building. Susan Maco Forrester and Jody Haines' piece Future is Now! explored the voyages of ancestors and identity.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Other large scale building projections along Gertrude Street included Ash Coates' Mycolinguistics (Rubico-Sterolosis or Oneness) on the Gertrude Hotel and Amanda Morgan's If they build a wall, we can scale it on the Builders Arms.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

Skunk Control had another amazing window display this year with Three / Four, which shows the now constantly lit warning sirens as we head to the end.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival is on until Sunday, 30 July 2017.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Father John Misty- Melbourne Recital Centre

While out in Australia for Splendour In The Grass, Father John Misty scheduled a couple of intimate sideshows in support of his latest album Pure Comedy. Tonight's sold out show was at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Opening the evening was singer-songwriter Angie McMahon, who played a solo set on electric guitar and sounded fantastic with her deep voice and atmospheric songs.

Father John Misty's band emerged on the stage first and then Josh Tillman came out to join them as they launched into the opening song "Pure Comedy." The first four songs of the set were in order off the new album with "Total Entertainment Forever," "Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution" and "Ballad Of The Dying Man." Josh danced and gyrated around the stage throughout the night and delivered those wonderful lyrics in his typical self-deprecating and deadpan manner. It was great to hear "When You're Smiling And Astride Me," "Fun Times In Babylon," "Nancy From Now On" and "True Affection."

Josh wasn't as chatty as the other times I've seen him live, but he did have a few funny interactions with the crowd. In response to a guy shouting out his love he spoke of reaching his aim of being "knee deep in random dudes." He also joked about facial hair and the controversy around his moustache when the album came out (and its association with paedophiles) so he has grown back his beard (which he noted is associated with murderers). Towards the end of the set a few people were brave enough to jump up out of their seats at the start of "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" and he then invited the rest of the crowd to get up for "I Love You, Honeybear," which closed out the main set.

For the encore as we were all still standing, Josh joked that they were going to scrap their sophisticated encore and just play bangers. We were treated to "Read Love Baby," "Holy Shit" and "The Ideal Husband." It was great to get the opportunity to see Father John Misty play in a more intimate and relaxed setting, but I'm sure he'll be hitting bigger venues when he comes back to Australia to tour the album.

Here's the video for "Pure Comedy"

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Slow Dancer- In A Mood Tour

Slow Dancer celebrated the release of his second album In A Mood tonight with an album launch at The Gasometer Hotel. Opening the evening was Tim Harvey's latest project Real Feelings. The four piece band, which also contained Liam Halliwell from The Ocean Party, had some lengthy jams and a bit of a groove to their songs. Next up was POPPONGENE (aka Sophie Treloar) and her band, which had a very guitar-based sound with a bit of shoegaze at some points. We thought they sounded really good.

Slow Dancer (aka Simon Okley) was in his usual white jeans and jacket as he took to the stage with his band and started with "In The Water," the opening track off In A Mood. The crowd was very attentive and polite throughout his set, with highlights being "Don't Believe," "Bitter," "It Goes On" (which may be my favorite song released this year), and beautiful versions on acoustic guitar of "Please" and "I Would" that had everyone captivated. Simon joked that we were missing the start of the Tour de France coverage (which was amusing as I had a conversation with Ebony before he started playing about Peter Sagon's disqualification) and also acknowledged it was NAIDOC week. The evening finished with "Cornerstone" and the funniest moment of the night when Simon realised he forgot to take the capo off his guitar as he hit the first chorus. Unfortunately there wasn't an encore, but it's always an enjoyable experience to get to see Slow Dancer perform live.

Here's the video for "It Goes On":

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Kevin Chin - Refuge

This afternoon I went to the opening of Kevin Chin's latest exhibition Refuge at This Is No Fantasy + dianne tanzer gallery. Comprising five paintings, the exhibition focuses on the themes of journey, transition and sanctuary. It explores global migration, with time spent in Indonesia and Japan influencing the mixed sense of place in the works.

Kevin's paintings are very detailed with some abstract portions, and I really liked his use of bright colors. It was good to be able to catch up with both Kevin and his partner Clinton at the opening, and they will soon be heading off to the US as Kevin has an artist residency at Yellowstone National Park. Refuge runs until 25 July 2017.

Friday, June 16, 2017

REMI x Sampa The Great- Fire Sign Tour

REMI and Sampa The Great are on a co-headline tour around Australia and tonight was the sold out Melbourne show at 170 Russell. Opening the evening was DJ Mz Rizk (who also played tunes throughout the night in between sets). We were also treated to a great mini set by soul and R&B singer Thando, which included her own songs as well as a cover of Mary J Blige's "Enough Cryin."

The Dreaming Now did a Welcome to Country ahead of Sampa The Great taking the stage with DJ Ziggy and Sensible J on drums. She started her set most appropriately with "Intro." It was fantastic to finally get a chance to see Sampa live, and she had a brilliant performance with songs such as "Class Trip," "F E M A L E" and "The Plug." She invited a friend on stage to do some African dancing with her and also did a cover of the Fugees' "Fu-Gee-La." Her set finished with a portion of "Mona Lisa."

Next up was REMI and they started their set with "Forsaken Man." The crowd was really into his whole performance, especially the higher energy tracks like "Sangria," "XTC Party" and "Tyson." I really liked that Remi did some of his more socially conscious tracks like "Lose Sleep" and "Ode To Ignorance." They finished the set with one of my favorites off Diva & Demons "Substance Therapy."

REMI and Sampa The Great then came out for a joint set together, which included Sensible J's new track "Fire Sign" and their song together off REMI's album "For Good." To finish off the night everyone on the bill came out to sing and dance along to Kendrick Lamar's "Alright." This was a fantastic show and a great showcase of some of the talent in the Melbourne hip-hop community.

Here's the video for "For Good"

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sarah Blasko- The Soloist Tour

Despite being a solo artist, Sarah Blasko has never done a tour without a backing band before. Tonight her Soloist Tour came to the Melbourne Recital Centre. Opening support was provided by Cameron Avery, who played a set of his solo material alternating between keyboard and electric guitar. He also did a cover of Alexandra Savoir's "Girlie."

Sarah Blasko came out onto the stage and started with an a cappella version of "Down On Love." As she sat down at the piano she joked, "Welcome to my recital." The set list covered songs from throughout her career, but was mainly focused on her last three albums. As she played these stripped back arrangements using piano, samples, guitar and even ukulele, highlights included "I Awake," "Bury This," "I Wanna Be Your Man," "Beyond," "Luxurious" and "We Won't Run." Sarah had three microphones set up across the stage and was quite funny and silly as she moved between them for each song. Her voice soared in the acoustics of the venue, and the lighting and staging for this show was simple yet dramatic.

We were fortunate to get a preview of a few new tracks from her upcoming album, which sounded fantastic. As she came out for the encore she joked about encore anxiety and that she would only do three songs and then the show would be finished. We got to hear "All I Want," a cover of Cold Chisel's "Flame Trees," and "Perfect Now" from her first album. Sarah got a standing ovation from the crowd as she left the stage, and it was another amazing show from her.

Here's the video for "Luxurious" off Eternal Return:

Friday, June 09, 2017

An Evening With Bic Runga - MEMO Music Hall

It's been five years since Bic Runga last played in Melbourne, and tonight was the first of a two night run at St Kilda's MEMO Music Hall. Bic started the evening solo on acoustic guitar playing "Drive," "When I See You Smile" and "The Be All And End All" before being joined by her band, which included her partner Kody Nielson on drums. The songs played across the two sets covered material from throughout her career and her latest album Close Your Eyes, which is a mix of originals and covers. I really enjoyed her version of Nick Drake's "Things Behind The Sun" as well as the new original songs "Close Your Eyes" and "Dream A Dream."

Bic played some of my favorite tracks of hers, including "Get Some Sleep" "Listening For The Weather," "Winning Arrow" and "Something Good." We also got some rarely played live songs such as "This Girl's Prepared For War" and "Darkness All Around Us" off Belle, and the Beautiful Collision tracks "Gravity" and "Election Night," which I'm guessing was thrown into the set due to yesterday's UK election.

What really made this show special was the songs that were done with Natalia Mann on the concert harp, which enhanced the arrangements for "Precious Things," "Beautiful Collision," "Birds," "Captured" and "Bursting Through." As this year is the 20th anniversary of the release of the hit single "Sway," it was only appropriate that it closed out the second set. Bic was so happy to finally be able to come back to Australia and was really grateful for everyone coming out to see her. For an encore she attempted an audience request for "Gracie," but only made it part way through as she couldn't stop laughing at the lyrics which she wrote when she was 19 years old. All in all it was a great and intimate show, and hopefully Bic will make it back across the ditch sooner rather than later for another live performance.

Here's the video for "Close Your Eyes"

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

I Love The 90's Australian Tour

I got a call late this afternoon from Chantal that she and Shevonne had a spare ticket for the I Love The 90's concert at Hisense Arena tonight. Once I saw the line up I knew I couldn't say no as it was a list of late 80s and early 90s hip hop and R&B acts that I used to watch on MTV.

First up was Young MC, who did a rap to Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning" and of course played "Bust A Move." Next was Tone Loc, who not only played his hits "Funky Cold Medina" and "Wild Thing," but also did a cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice."

Three members of the boy band Color Me Badd hit the stage in matching outfits and sang their hits "All 4 Love," "I Adore Mi Amore" and "I Wanna Sex You Up," along with a cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity." Coolio was the next act to play, and had a band with him. Their set included "Fantastic Voyage," "I'll C U When U Get There," "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "Gangsta's Paradise." They also did a bizarrely short tribute to Prince by playing the intro to "Purple Rain" but not the whole song.

The main act that everyone was there to see was Salt N Pepa with DJ Spinderella. Celebrating 31 years together, they played lots of their best known songs, including "Do You Want Me," "Shake Your Thang," "Let's Talk About Sex," "Shoop," "Whatta Man," "None Of Your Business" and of course "Push It." Spinderella did a bit of a DJ set during the middle of the set, and they got some fans up on stage to dance with them, including a little kid who broke out some break dancing moves.

The closing act of the night was Vanilla Ice, who wanted to turn his set into a block party so he invited people up on stage just a couple of songs in. His set was all over the place as he played "Ninja Rap," his song from the 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie,  "Play That Funky Music" and of course "Ice Ice Baby," which resulted in nearly half of the crowd heading for the exits once it was done. He did a freestyle rap with Coolio and Tone Loc, and finished the evening by doing a cover of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" to a near empty arena.

Overall while the concert was entertaining it was a bit sad to see a packaged tour which was clearly just a money grab. Everyone quickly played their hits and then got off the stage for the next act. I imagine it would be a bit demoralising, but then I guess if you need the money you have to cash in somehow.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Van Gogh And The Seasons

The latest exhibition for the NGV's Melbourne Winter Masterpieces is Van Gogh and the Seasons. It contains around 50 drawings and paintings from Van Gogh that are themed around the four seasons.

As you enter the exhibition there is a large screen video presentation about Van Gogh before you get to see some examples of the different types of art that influenced him in the first rooms, such as Japanese woodblock prints.

The main sections of the exhibition focus on a specific season, with paintings and drawings of landscapes, still life, and people working out in the fields. Here were some of my favorite pieces:





It's not the largest exhibition, but it took a while to get through due to the sheer number of people trying to see it. I wish the NGV would sell timed tickets to cut down on the lines and crowds going through the exhibition at any one time as it was an exercise in patience to deal with the number of people in there.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vivid Sydney 2017

I have spent the past two evenings wandering around the Sydney CBD to check out as many of the light projections and installations as possible on display from 6:00 - 11:00 pm as part of Vivid Sydney. My first stop was Martin Place, which had the Urban Tree 2.0 projections on the CTA Building, and the pieces Waratah and re/FRACTION at the opposite end of the pedestrian mall.

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney

Down towards Circular Quay were a few interesting pieces, including the different angles of the piece Helix, the umbrellas of Supernova and Under My Umbrella, and the hanging lights of Parallax.

Vivid Sydney

The Rocks and along the waterfront were where I was able to catch the bulk of the light projections and installations. The highlight was the Organic Vibrations projections on the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, which were spectacular.

Vivid Sydney

Other interesting installations in The Rocks and Campbell's Cove precincts were the light columns of Connections, the different environments viewed through Portholes, the light sculpture of Fractal, and Landscape of the Mind, which explored people's experiences with anxiety on a series of body maps.

Vivid Sydney

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and buildings along the waterfront had different colored lights. The southern pylon of the Bridge also had projections of the Bangarra Dance Theatre as part of the piece EORA - Bennelong.

Vivid Sydney

Of course the main draw of Vivid Sydney is the projections on the Sydney Opera House. Lighting of the Sails: Audio Creatures had a focus on sea creatures and animals this year.

Vivid Sydney

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney was my final stop and contained many of the sculptural elements at Vivid Sydney this year. There was a set path through parts of the Garden, with some of my favorite pieces being the moving The Sunflowers, the kiwi Birds of Lumos, the dandelions of SPREADING LIFE, and the Reflection light boxes.

Vivid Sydney

The trees in the Garden were also lit and contained some interesting objects as part of the Electric Forest, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music had some colorful light projections as you exited the Garden.

Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney

Overall there were some really great pieces at Vivid Sydney, but I don't think it compares as a whole to the all encompassing amazing experience that is White Night Melbourne.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...