Chet Faker, Nina Las Vegas, POND and more!

Everything has been a bit crazy lately, or perhaps I’ve just been really lazy. Anywho, I try to drop my live review of a show two days after I attend it, and even so I usually don’t get around to it until three days. I work for myself, so my work ethic is slowly but surely improving, and if I leave it too late it will have become obsolete. In the past week I’ve been to three shows, all of which I haven’t set aside time to write about, though I am chipping away at it right now. Whilst at the third of these shows I thought of a solution to my own sloth-like ways, and that is to condense a weeks worth of shows into one piece of writing, especially if they are smaller local events as such. Last week I was able to catch Overview Effect, Chet Faker, Nina Las Vegas and POND. This is my account of all three of them.

Two Fridays ago I saw Overview Effect, a five-piece progressive rock band, at the Soulbox. Now as a venue stands the Soulbox is a little far out of the CBD, something I imagine isn’t all too attractive, and would limit the amount of punters to walk in. A female singer fronts overview Effect, and this makes their sound more accessible, so well as original. Now don’t let that make you think that Overview Effect are any less hardcore than say Porcupine Tree or Tool, because those two bands are exactly who Overview Effect take their stead from, and they do so exquisitely well. Every member is an extremely talented musician, and this makes for some of the tracks they’ve composed to be ridiculously mind numbingly progressive, think fifteen minute songs, an avid array of time signatures and tempo changes, bridges, breakdowns and ambient sections. Not only are they mesmerizing, but they perform with a professional air about them that would have you think they have been playing for fifteen years rather than the odd five months they’ve been around. Seriously, these guys have been writing away for a long long time to make sure their sound would be just right when they broke onto the local circuit in August. I would seriously suggest catch one of their local shows, as I can only see the band rising to fame with speed. Not only this, but they play along to a very psychedelic multi-media display that complements the performance excellently.

Seriously, Overview Effect, go to their next show, these are not the droids you’re looking for.

The following Wednesday I attended the University of Adelaide’s open night. Education? Bleugh, you say! Well think again. The university made their open evening far more inviting by hooking the likes of Tyler Touche, Chet Faker and Nina Las Vegas to perform on the evening. Naturally I was there in a heartbeat. The campus lawn made for an excellent place to place a stage, and groups of school leavers sat in bunches on the grass, the whole thing remind me of a college movie. Blink-182 could easily have been playing in the background. But it isn’t the nineties anymore, and that was clear as Tyler Touche took to the stage behind a MacBook and turntable, and began to let loose some funky club beats. I still don’t know what it is that disc jockeys do behind that table full of flashing lights and twistable knobs, but you can always seem to tell when the artist is more involved in the process behind the music that comes out of the speaker. Tyler was enjoyable, and his sound was quite original.

Next up was Chet Faker, and the size of the crowd immediately doubled. I was excited to hear him, and his mellow mellow tunes. His mixture of sang vocals and EDM wizardry is really nice and fresh and it was a great set to chill out and relax to, though I found to be a bit lame, trading off dancing for talking to their neighbour or texting on a mobile. Cigarettes and Chocolate was a highlight, as well as a spontaneous Jeff Buckley cover. I was a little disappointed when his set ended what I would call prematurely, also taking into account that he came to the stage rather late, but what can you do?

Finally, and to my surprisingly winningly, was Nina Las Vegas. I didn’t know who she was prior, and was expecting some sort of indie artist, so when she took to the decks and proceeded to blow my mind, well my mind was pretty blown. The tone of the evening changed completely from Chet Fakers mellow vibes, to a full-blown bass induced frenzy. Everyone was dancing, and Nina knows just how to engage with the crowd. The speakers were monstrously loud and she was dropping absolute bangers all night the highlight of which was a mix of Tkay Maidza x Badcop’s Brontosaurus. Nina was so great that she even got to play an encore, and I was sad that her set had to end.

This past Friday I also had the pleasure to catch psychedelic rockers POND knock the roof off of the Gov, and I mean this with every inch of meaning the word has. I was literally blown away, their music took me on an adventure inside my own mind, and I was excited beyond belief at what I found. Their vocalist has an amazing vocal range, and the bands ability to write catchy, infectious songs is utterly brilliant. I do catch a lot of artists that are unbeknownst to me prior, and in this case POND is one of those bands. I always try to do a little research before I go to a show, but it was a very spontaneous decision to go to their show, and thus I didn’t have the time. I do though; have a look at material post show to gain a better understanding. Unfortunately I can’t review POND’s show track by track, but I will name a few highlights, and describe the experience as best I can.

I arrived a little way through their set, and already the crowd was reacting bulbously to the music as a mosh pit was slowly enveloping everyone in the crowd. Everyone was shoulder to shoulder and bopping around; I spent my time in and out of the mosh, alternating from launching myself into people to lolling my head back and forth as my brain-matter-reduced-to-liquid seeped out of my ears. POND are seriously that good live. This is some Pink Floyd level shiet. Yes you read correctly, shit with an E, especially You Broke My Cool. Other highlights were Fantastic Explosion of Time and Eye Pattern Blindness. As their set neared to an end the band stepped off stage, and then returned for an encore, playing a wicked jam with the members of Doctopus who were the supported band I unfortunately missed out on, but very cool stuff nonetheless, with POND’s frontman gliding over the crows in an elegant stage dive.

The lights turned on and the crowd dispersed slowly, recollecting their thoughts and perhaps attempting to comprehend what they just witnessed. I met the guitarist after the show and tried to score an interview, but alas they were leaving to Brisbane at 10am the next morning. I should have asked for his email address. Doh!

So that was my week in a figurative nutshell, hope you enjoyed it.

Jonty Czuchwicki