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Live Review: Kimbra, Exhibitionist

18 July 2018 | 2:01 pm | Luke Dassaklis

"As cryptic as many of her songs and absolutely ripe for analysis in some poor soul's HSC English class."

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Exhibitionist brought proceedings underway with lofty vocals and low key electronic sounds.

She bounced around the stage with minimal supporting artists, soaking in the good vibes and projecting her own. She finished on a very experimental piece called Being A Woman; a challenging and at times dissonant piece that reflected the trials and tribulations of modern-day women. She was an exciting artist, nailing the opportunity to play for such a large crowd in her hometown.

Kimbra signalled her entrance with raw, rumbling bass and the illumination of the curtains by a piercing blue light. Synths dripped from the speakers, supported by percussive interludes produced by one of two backing musicians also sporting keyboards. Immediately it was apparent that this show was going to be something special. Kimbra was touring her new album Primal Heart, but wasn't playing the tunes as they appeared on the record. Each track was revamped and remixed to fit into a stunning audiovisual experience; her impeccable vocals matched perfectly to eerie projections on the back of the stage and perfectly timed and sparingly used strobe lights.

Her first track, Version Of Me, a bit of a soft, slow-burn song on the record, had its energy dialled up approximately 1000%. Her yellow dress, soaring vocals and the dimness of the stage gave her a thoroughly captivating, very tuned and very capable, banshee-esque presence. She moved quickly through several tunes. Black Sky came and went, as did Human. Settle Down was a particular highlight, wholly reimagined to suit Kimbra's new live direction. Paired back to percussion, bass and Kimbra's incredible voice, it was quite haunting to see such a fun, dance-y track turned into a feat of raw musicianship. Kimbra spliced this tune with a brief interlude from Gotye classic Somebody I Used To Know, again reimagined as a trip-hop, electronic classic.

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Kimbra was a master of the stage, of particular note was the perfect integration of audiovisual to make the gig far more holistic. A work of art rather than a mere show, as soon as one track finished the next started, allowing the graphics behind her to unfold languidly, as cryptic as many of her songs and absolutely ripe for analysis in some poor soul's HSC English class. Highlights included a bald head leaking tear-like fluid from its eyes and flooding a mobile phone, a collection of stationary fighter jets arranged geometrically, and an anatomical tour of a golden mannequin.

This was an incredible show, from the lights and visual aspects, right through to the impressive feats of musicianship by the artists. The scope of this gig was not what your humble narrator was expecting when he walked through the doors but is very glad he got to experience it nonetheless.