Review Scene: The Avalanches, Myer Music Bowl 23rd April 2021

A home ground show for the legendary Melbourne group, The Avalanches, was always going to be an exciting event. After receiving well earned, worldwide praise for their two most recent albums ‘Wildflower’ and ‘We Will Always Love You’, it was time to bring it all back to where it started.

Photo by Joshua Dickins

Entering the Music Bowl was a fun task. Three different check points for tickets, wristbands and COVID check-ins were navigated successfully. The new ‘seated pod’ set up at the Bowl was remarkable. The logistics of such a new venue plan have been well planned and constructed.  Comfortable, easy access to bars and bathrooms, and a great view. Opening act Clypso was impressive. I was an unfamiliar onlooker, but her vocals were a highlight over the electro production and neat live drums. When my insides rumbled a little as Clypso hit some sub-bass,  I knew it was going to be a fun evening.

The Avalanches onstage set up of keyboards, theremins and a huge desk of technology, was in stark contrast to when I last saw them in 1998 at a small bar. As we all know, the chaotic five man band is no more, but both Robbie Chater and Tony Diblasi have a great talent for transporting the audience through a set of highs and even highers. In fact, I’m still smiling as I write this.

Photo by Joshua Dickins

A seamless mix of tracks from We Will Always Love You and Wildflower, with a few Since I Left You flashbacks, had everyone one on their feet. The pod where we were situated, bounced as it became a makeshift dancefloor.  Watching Chater and Diblasi driving their massive desk of tech live, reminded me of what the Chemical Brothers do so well in their live shows. Electronic music acts can sometimes take the easy way out and press play on a laptop. Not tonight. No talk, just a 1.5 hour live fusion of their finest tracks. The Avalanches take their time to create intricate music. Some would say they have taken too much time, but I think it is worth it. They are Australia’s premier electronic artists.

Photo by Dan McMahon

A track or two from El Producto and Frontier Psychiatrist would have made it completely perfect – but that is just me being selfish. It was a tremendous show at a fine venue. I just wish it could have gone on hours longer.

Most apparent at this show was the fact that The Avalanches are maestros in the art of creating beats in the major key. That is, the music gives you the feeling of happiness. It is positive and upbeat, without being cheesy. Euphoric highs were reached when they kicked into Music Makes Me High and Because I’m Me. Live at Dominoes’ was a dance floor killer. Take in Your Dreaming was a step back to late 90’s Trip Hop beats – so good up loud. Looking at the smiles around the Bowl, they hit the mark with absolutely everything.

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