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Live Review: Architecture In Helsinki, Total Giovanni

21 November 2014 | 1:59 pm | Hannah Valmadre

Melbourne Music Week was started on a high thanks to Architecture In Helsinki

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Tonight is Melbourne Music Week’s opening night and, as we enter Queen Victoria Market, the box office is shut displaying a big “Sold Out” sign. Up first are Total Giovanni and we are digging on them. Dressed in all white everything, they appear joyful and excited to be the ones to get the party started. And they are more than capable of doing so. Their keyboardist is particularly mesmerising as he body rolls for days while hitting the keys. If The Cure were into disco and you added a dash of The Presets, you’d come up with something like Total Giovanni.

Much to our surprise, Architecture In Helsinki start quite early (as in before 10pm) considering the event is scheduled to run until 1am and they are headlining. While this is no issue for us, we can see how having no advertised set times either online or at the venue could make others a little shirty. In true AIH style, they burst onto the stage in all their vibrant, high-energy glory and the home crowd is happy to welcome their indie-pop darlings home. Singles from their fifth album Now + 4EVA, such as Dream A Little Crazy and In The Future, are met with much enthusiasm. Lead singer Cameron Bird has little chats with the audience in between songs about anything from his love of Melbourne to his displeasure around the East West Link. As always, Kellie Sutherland melts our hearts with her boundless energy and gorgeous vocals. They have a few extra people on stage tonight: a brass section they have named “The Helsinki Horns” who do a wonderful job of upping the party vibes. While the set is extremely enjoyable, our favourite part of the night is when AIH ram it home with Heart It Races, That Beep and Contact High. Throughout their career, Architecture In Helsinki have produced such wonderful, highly danceable pop gems and hearing them live just reminds us of how consistently great this band has been over so many years.

Rainbow Connection DJs close the evening. The audience noticeably disperse after AIH, but the party is far from over. It’s mostly well remixed disco vibes here, but it’s pretty clear the crowd loves it when they’ve got something to sing along to. The title track from Grease’s original movie soundtrack is truckloads of fun, as is Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, with many pseudo divas on the dancefloor channeling their inner ‘Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert’. An excellent start to what is sure to be an impressive and fun-filled Melbourne Music Week.