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Art vs Science

w/ Strange Talk




Tonight marks the sixth time I've seen Art vs Science perform live. With any other band, even I would consider it to be a bit excessive, but I know that with these Sydney-siders, I'm always going to be guaranteed an entertaining show. I was keen to see what the boys would pull out on this tour, having had their debut album The Experiment smash the charts and their popularity as a live act continue to rocket.

  

The crowd at HQ grew steadily through the night, which was great to see on a cold Friday night. Providing intermission music was a representative for the Transmission DJs in DJ Grizzly, while the rest of the crew manned the Bull and Bear down on King William Street for the monthly Transmission party night. It wasn't long before the indie tunes faded and tonight's support act took to the stage.

  

Melbourne's Strange Talk didn't really do much for me the last time I saw them play, but I remember deciding back then that I needed to see them again to form a better opinion. All in all – they were good. They definitely had moved up a few notches from the first time I'd seen them in any case. Stephen Docker and co dropped their fun Gypsy and the Cat-esque electro-pop on some very eager ears (ironic, considering I'd heard some G & the C band members were in attendance tonight). From the onset I thought the vocals were being drowned out by the rest of the instruments; it sounded as if Docker was a backing vocalist shoved into the front man's role at times. But as the set continued, he demonstrated some excellent high notes and held the audience's focus the entire time. The biggest moment of the set would have to have been when they launched into Eskimo Boy, which got us all dancing, but the band managed to pull off a decent cover of No Doubt's Hella Good. Strange Talk has a way to go, in my mind, before they truly hit the peak of their talents as a band, but they were an apt and entertaining opening act for a show like tonight's.

  

There was a definite buzz going round in the lead up to the headliners emerging from backstage. Being the second date on the national tour, named after the debut album, Adelaide followed on from the opening date in Perth. Before long, the keyboards and drums were in tune and Art vs Science emerged to screams and whoops; the punters tonight were ready. Opening with A.I.M Fire!, the three-piece held the crowd in some weird trance for the entirety of the set and refused to let us go. Tonight they proved, again, to be one of the best, if not THE best, live Australian band out at the moment, with ferocious keyboards and drumbeats coming together sharply each time. There was a moment of tenderness as they took it down a notch with the song With Thoughts, before kicking it back into gear, finishing the set with the smashing track off their self-titled EP, Hollywood.

  

Though tonight wasn't my first AvS experience, they're a band who brings something new to each show. It may have been in Dan Mac's guitar solo during Parlez vous Francais?, where he proceeded to pop up near the sound desk and then rush back to the stage where he then sculled a drink, whilst playing the guitar…on Jim Finn's shoulders. Or it could have been in their delivery of new tracks Take A Look At Your Face and Sledgehammer. Whatever it was, the band produced an electric atmosphere that was inescapable, even if you wanted to. In any case, tonight was in my eyes, the best show I've seen thus far in 2011 and it'll be a pretty hard one to top in terms of energy and entertainment. The Art vs Science boys put their own definite twist on each show they deliver and it's obvious that it's why Australian crowds love them so much.

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