Jan 22, 2013

Dirty Projectors @ Sydney Opera House

As live performers, and on record for that matter, Dirty Projectors present a unique and interesting challenge. Can you change your usual listening patterns to accommodate the strange and unusual sounds that emanate from this band. I believe it takes dedicated listening to uncover all the variants and layers they can give you. But once you are there it's the beginning of a beautiful journey. The Brooklyn based band were here Monday night as part of the Sydney Festival and they charmed and delighted us for over 90 interesting minutes.

Dirty Projectors are a band I have immense respect for, not exactly profound love. Their music seems deliberately challenging at times and not always easy to love Their music can even be maddeningly inconsistent at times and yet starkly beautiful. This was my first time seeing them live and it was a joy unto itself. Lead man Dave Longstreth entered the stage and performed the title track from their 2012 album solo and acoustic. It was a thing of rare beauty. Longstreth has a unique voice. It sounds offkey and warbles every which way, but it is strong and vibrant and also vulnerable and human. Soon the full band joined him and we were away. Three strong female vocals joined in the harmonic chorus and they were all great. Especially the dimunutive Amber Coffman. What range she has. Contorting her vocal from throat shouts to smooth pop with aplomb. Early highlight were "Dance For You" and two back to back tunes from "The Getty Address", an earlier album that I'm not too familiar with but will make sure I am now after last night's show. Coffman then soared on the hand clapped goodness of "Beautiful Mother", a standout for sure. The show finished with a bang with great cuts such as "Just From Chevron", the intoxicating "Stillness Is The Move" and the epic "Rise Above". All being great displays of the band's talents. They employ crazy time signatures and strange melodies. Songs often start and stop again. Complex and sometimes bewildering. It's quite an intoxicating cocktail. The encore tied the night up nicely. "Gun Has No Trigger" had us moving in our seats, whilst "Impregnable Question" raged in its quiet beauty. This was a unique live experience. From a band that is truly like no other.   

Set List
Swing Lo Magellan
Irresponsible Tune
Temecula Sunrise
Police Story
Dance For You
I Will Truck
Finches' Song at Oceanic Parking Lot
While You're Here
Cannibal Resource
Offspring are Blank
The Socialites
Beautiful Mother
See What She Singing
Just From Chevron
About To Die
Stillness Is The Move
Useful Chamber
Rise Above

Gun Has No Trigger
Impregnable Question


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