Chastain’s concert series this year featured a number of high profile musicians – Sarah McLachlan, Diana Krall, Jill Scott, Sting, and Seal, just to name a few. So many of those acts I had wanted to see, but unfortunately would not be able to catch all. Australian singer and producer Gotye was scheduled to close out the series on Oct. 5th, and that was one I could attend.
I was first introduced to Gotye’s music when my brother played me a few tunes from his Making Mirrors album sometime last year. His sound evoked memories of Sting and The Police and I became a fan. Shortly after that I was hearing him everywhere, as he began to gain recognition with his new record on this side of the western hemisphere. I was eager to see him perform live.
There was no delay to the show start, as fellow countryman Jonti got the crowd going promptly at 7:30PM. Unfortunately, I missed his short set due to my search for a legal parking spot. I did make it into the amphitheatre in time to catch Missy Higgins with her 5-piece band. She performed a few tunes of the Ol’ Razzle Dazzle and her record from a few years back. I recognized one or two of them. I love her voice, but unfortunately the temperature drop that evening took away from it’s warmth (the downside of an outdoor concert in October). The frequencies had a bit of a harder edge to them as the night went on. Her music was good nonetheless, and judging by the audience reaction she gained some new fans.
Gotye took to the stage around 9:30PM and opened up his set with the title track of his latest release. Most of audience probably expected him to be singing at front of the stage, but there he was in the back, lending his rhythmic skills on the percussion. He opened with an energetic sequence of tunes which included performances of “Eyes Wide Open” and “Easy Way Out.” The seductive strings on his “What Do You Want” had me thinking I was an agent in a suit, sipping on a glass of martini- shaken, not stirred.
The crowd was seated most of the time, soaking in the hypnotic, sometimes reggae-infused, sounds and the animated videos that accompanied each song. They came to their feet later in the evening as the pizzicato chord progression began to his breakout hit, “Somebody I Used To Know.” Butterfly Boucher, Missy’s bassist, assisted with the female vocal for that one. They remained on their feet, as Gotye got them to sing the “a-eeei-yeah, a-eee-yoohhs” to “Save Me.” He closed out the 16 song set with “Heart’s A Mess.” The crowd was not done, so he returned with the band for encore featuring the soul-inspired “I Feel Better” and two others.
I hope he returns to Atlanta again soon. I would like to experience his sounds in a venue like the Tabernacle.
– Submitted by Akrofi Koram, Hardware Specialist