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Live Review: Asgeir, Woodes

4 April 2018 | 11:54 am | Dave Burrowes

"The songs he sang in his native tongue of Icelandic, which was close to half of the set, were otherworldly in their beauty."

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Melbourne-based artist Woodes kicked off the evening at the City Recital Hall - "the biggest venue we've ever personally played" - in a popping golden jumpsuit with two bandmates in support. Elle Graham is a phenomenal singer and performer, no doubt winning over many in the crowd unfamiliar with her work as she made her way through her catalogue of catchy, ethereal tunes. As a special treat, she even whipped out her Like a Version cover of Vance Joy's Lay It On Me.

Asgeir took to a stage littered with a forest of LED spikes that combined with some heavy haze to define the aesthetic of the performance. As a personality Asgeir Einarsson was quite an insular performer, tending to keep the audience at a bit of a distance, giving credence to the rumours that he's a strong introvert. It wasn't until five songs in that the artist first addressed his audience and then only to say, "Thank you, we appreciate you coming," - the only line he returned to throughout the night. Despite this, the man's sound is engaging enough as it is, heightened by the incredible acoustics of the venue. Einarsson's lofty vocals are supported by a heavy, driving drum line that dominates most of the tracks and gives them impact and the songs he sang in his native tongue of Icelandic, which was close to half of the set, were otherworldly in their beauty.

The phones came out in force for the bigger hits like King & Cross and Afterglow, but the highlight of the night was probably his performance of Going Home, which was brought to an explosive climax to close out the main set. Einarsson returned alone at first for the encore, starting with an acoustic version of On That Day, before the band re-joined him on stage for the final couple of tracks.

What had started as a somewhat restrained crowd at the City Recital Hall followed the encore with an enthusiastic standing ovation. The band linked arms and took a bow.

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