Words by Lauren Gill
Belgian born, but Australian bred Gotye (real name Wouter de Backer) confirmed that he’s much more than a one-hit wonder with an electric show Friday night at the sold out Tower Theatre in Upper Darby. Making his way through songs from both of his albums, Like Drawing Blood, and Making Mirrors, the multi-instrumentalist wow-ed the highly receptive crowd time and time again, whether it be with his conductor-like role during singalongs or his on-stage banter, which of course was made immensely more endearing by his heavy accent. (At one point, he asked the audience to confirm that he was indeed in Pennsylvania.)
The night didn’t belong solely to Gotye though, who brought along kiwi Kimbra to open up. Dressed in a ruffly blue prom-dress-gone-bad ensemble, the highly animated singer powered through a solid nine song set. Going through songs from her album, Vows, which is set to be released in the U.S. on May 22, as well as some new cuts, the doll-like vocalist owned the stage, especially shining on tracks like set-opener “Cameo Lover,” and “Settle Down.”
As the Tower Theatre filled to the max, it was clear that everyone came to see the phenom that is Gotye. Opening up his set with the chugging “Eyes Wide Open,” the crowd jumped up from its seats, and it was immediately obvious that they were in for the real deal.
Gotye hopped from instrument to instrument throughout the night, which was made possible by his remarkable set-up. Positioned in a square-like formation, he had a keyboard, drums, tambourine, and synthesizer, among others, to choose from.
One of the highlights of the evening came with the raggae-esque “State of the Art,” which found Gotye utilizing a vocoder, which he prefaced the song by calling it one of his favorite trinkets. Gotye was surprisingly in his element during this ode to technology, jamming out with the rest of his band.
Halfway through the set came the moment that undoubtedly the crowd came to hear. Hinting at “Somebody that I Used to Know” by telling them that they would get to hear Kimbra sing again, the crowd went crazy. The song didn’t come without warning though. Telling the audience that at this point in the show people usually bring out their cameras or iPhones, or whatever their choice of technology is, (even making a joke about the new iPad) Gotye recommended against it, advising them to live in the moment, saying they should enjoy the show through a wider lense. For those who did follow Gotye’s advice, which seemed to be a large number as everyone lowered their phones, they were treated to a dynamic rendition of the hit, with Kimbra emerging to nail her verse.
Throughout the night, various videos played on the large screen behind Gotye. Whether they be bizarre church-like images or cacti with faces growing on top of eachother, they added a sense that Gotye doesn’t take himself too seriously, which came across in the manner he conducted himself onstage. He seemed like he was having the time of his life, and he certainly deserved to be.
After closing out the regular set with the soft “Bronte,” which found Gotye hitting a tiny cymbal, he walked offstage to everyone in the building cheering for one more song. Chants of “encore” echoed through the crowd, and Gotye didn’t let them go unheard, re-emerging for three more songs.
“In Your Light” and “I Feel Better” cemented why so many people have been comparing his voice to that of Peter Gabriel and Sting’s. His almost manic animations made him a sight to see as he passionately pounded on his drum.
Gotye ended the night with an energetic “Learnalilgivinanlovin,” and with a humble “cheers,” made his way offstage.
Kimbra Set List:
Love is a Two Way Street
Come Into my Head
Gotye Set List:
Eyes Wide Open
The Only Way
Easy Way Out
Smoke and Mirrors
State of the Art
Thanks for your Time
Don’t Worry, We’ll be Watching You
Somebody that I used to Know
Heart’s a Mess
In Your Light
I Feel Better
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