Cut Copy @ The Enmore Theatre, Sydney (12/05/2011)

Image for Cut Copy @ The Enmore Theatre, Sydney (12/05/2011)

Modular darlings Cut Copy make me swell with patriotic pride. From humble beginnings, the band has evolved into a sentinel symbol of the innovation and talent that defines Australia on the international music scene. In early 2011 they toured North America, including slots at Coachella and Ultra Miami before returning to headline Australia’s Groovin the Moo. Given all their success, it was a little surprising to find the Enmore only moderately full last Thursday when the lads took some time to show off their new live set.

First up were Sydney four-piece The Holidays, who wasted no time in laying down their trademark exotic beats, drenching the audience with the tantalising warmth of summer that is quickly slipping away. These lads have a penchant for lazy-paced synth, soothing vocals and bongo medleys that are deliciously mellow. Highlights of this set were crowd-favourites 6am and 2 Days. Having recently reviewed these guys at a sold-out Oxford Art Factory gig and given that they recently picked up the 2011 Australian Music Prize for Best Debut Release, I found it interesting that the crowd was strikingly sparse. The band, however, did not seem to mind and performed with their usual gusto.

Before long though 9:30pm rolled around at it was time for the headliners to take to the stage, launching into an amalgamation of Visions and Nobody Lost to rapturous applause. What followed was an impressive set that drew almost exclusively on material from the band’s latest two LPs.

In fact, Saturdays was the only number that made the cut from their debut LP Bright Like Neon Love. This made for a very tight set that allowed the band to show off their ability to reinterpret and reconstruct their hits in the live arena. Frontman Dan Whitford was unashamedly passionate and clearly takes pride in keeping the audience engaged. As the set progressed, the energy on stage continued to build, peaking with the synth-anthems Lights and Music and Take Me Over.

However, it was not until the unmistakable throbbing backbeat of Hearts on Fire permeated the air that the crowd went truly bonkers. Following this the band went on to deliver a stunning rework of the epic Sun God – with cowbell galore. After a brief hiatus backstage, Cut Copy returned to finish up with Need You Now and Out There On The Ice.

The production and light-show for this performance were rather spectacular and certainly added depth to the band’s spacey, mystical sound. It is clear that in a relatively short time Cut Copy has matured into a formidable force on both the Australian and European/US music scenes. Their live sound remains sophisticated and electric. They are well worth checking out this winter in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall for VIVID Live.

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