Melbourne, Hamer Hall Feb 9th, review

Rock's Renaissance Man

Melbourne, Hamer Hall Feb 9th, review

Postby Peterb on February 9th, 2009, 4:17 pm


Everything that happened, happened on stage.

The show was good. The set list was like all the other ones you've seen, including Born Under Punches towards the end. They didn't end with Burning Down The House; this was most likely because close to 100 people died over the weekend in the worst bushfires Australia has ever seen. The Red Cross were collecting donations in the foyer after the show, I gave $50.

There was a mix of old and young people in the crowd, but the vast majority were oldies. No one really danced until after we all gave a standing ovation after "I Feel My Stuff". Then everyone boogied through all the encores, Take Me To The River, Air, Great Curve etc etc. A dancing audience makes everything much cooler...I was wanting to jump up and boogie earlier on, but I think I would've been told to sit.

The sound was great, everything was nice and clear. David's voice was fantastic throughout the whole night. His guitar solos were excellent Belew-styled improvs in the RIL material and his use of the wammy bar is tasteful and distinct. The keyboard player made excellent contributions and replicated the original synth sounds of Fear of Music in particular.

I said hello to DB after the show, but there were so many people wanting CDs signed and photographs, there wasn't much time to chat to him. I did ask about Here Lies Love and he gave one of those giggles and said they're still working on it. Someone mentioned his online journal and he commented that he had "gotten behind" with it as he was "having too much fun on tour".

He's a good performer and a good guy in relation to the time he gives to fans after shows.

Any other Melbournites wanna post some comments?


Peter (who feels strangely flat..actually)
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Re: Melbourne, Hamer Hall Feb 9th, review

Postby rwgordon on February 11th, 2009, 2:40 pm

I was kinda annoyed because although I was told I could pre-order over the phone I actually couldn't and by the time I booked online (only a few minutes later) we were in the very back row on the ground level. To make matters worse only a few weeks later there was a second show announced with half price tickets. Man..... David Byrne is my favourite musical artist ever, but I was left with such a nasty taste in my mouth.

As for the sound... I don't really know. I mean, it was great - but frankly I preferred the sound at the two previous shows played at the Regent Theatre, maybe because I resented paying fifty more for the tickets this time around. The main addition to this show were the dancers who added a lot to the experience, and were often very impressive. I'm no dancing expert, but I am sure the dancers were extremely proficient - almost to a fault at a rock and roll show. Often they added a fun element, there was a great little homage to DB's hand gestures from Once in a lifetime video from the good old days with a little sprinkle of the SMS days.

I went in to the show without really knowing what the set-list was going to be, and while I am familiar with the entire back catalog (there were very few songs I'd never heard or only heard a few times) I thought the material selected was a little weak or perhaps just poorly constructed. I got the feeling the setlist was skewed a bit more to appeasing fans of Eno's work as much as fans of TH - as though Eno fans could come to the show and hear more of the "arty" songs rather than crowd pleasers. I love all the arty songs, but maybe not one after another at a live concert.

It was great that they were collecting money for the bushfire relief fund, I too happily donated. It seems whenever I write about a show I just pick out the bad things - so sorry about that. You can assume that everything I didn't mention was great. I know I'm being too harsh... but i'm kinda torn so there you have it.
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Re: Melbourne, Hamer Hall Feb 9th, review

Postby Backsliding on February 11th, 2009, 11:59 pm

... happy to report that I had an excellent experience @ Hamer Hall on the 9th - wish I could've afforded tix to the show the next night ! (dont think the tix were actually half price on the 10th though Rodney, I read they were somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10 cheaper .. all proceeds were going toward charity too, think it was for breast cancer ?)

This is the 4th time I've caught DB live, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. It's always fun when you get to expose someone uninitiated to a DB gig; I went with my ex at the Regent a few years ago, this time I got to take my new, improved gf and it was a joy to peek over and see the bemused/delighted expression on her face as the show unfolded.

I thought the first 5 or so songs were among the strongest on the night, Byrne and band really kicked it off super-tight and energetic; Strange Overtones, Help Me Somebody and I Zimbra were a blast.

And I couldn't have been much happier with the setlist, Byrne played some songs that I love but that I'd never heard him do live before; e.g the Great Curve, Help me somebody, Houses in Motion, Air and Fall through the cracks ...

agree with Rodney that the dancers brought a lot of fun and energy to the show; I'd been worried beforehand that their contribution might prove to be somewhat cringe-worthy, but they danced with a certain freedom that was infectious and joyous. Also agree with the OP that the keyboard player was fantastic, he added a lot of flavour as well as faithfully re-producing well-known sounds on songs such as Once in a Lifetime and I Zimbra...

My gf and I got up and danced for the last 3rd of the show and found we were able to 'sneak' right up to virtually the front row. The crowd had no trouble in drumming up the requisite wild applause and whistling to get DB and co. back onstage for three encores.
It was a cathartic show after a tough week for us Victorians ... :breakdance:
Ruby Dear
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Re: Melbourne, Hamer Hall Feb 9th, review

Postby Wickeddoll on February 14th, 2009, 1:18 am

Wow, it's amazing how your perspective can change so profoundly. Seeing DB do BDTH in the tutu was a great moment that I will treasure forever. It certainly would have been in terrible taste to do in Australia at this time.

Kudos to DB and his crew for being considerate and compassionate.

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