Digitalism @ HQ Complex, Adelaide (17/05/2012)

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The recent Groovin the Moo tour brought German electro two-piece Digitalism to Australian shores once again. A last-minute venue change saw the gig moved from its original location at Light Square House to HQ Complex, and the shift had both its perks and drawbacks. The sound and lighting setup at HQ complex is possibly the best in Adelaide, and is particularly suited to electronic acts. However, the large and expansive venue meant the majority of the dance floor remained nigh on empty until Digitalism took to the stage.

The last time I saw Digitalism was at Parklife 2011, where they were playing “live” as a three piece, including a drummer. They were given a set time of just before sunset, which didn’t allow their light show to be used in its full capacity. As such, I was really looking forward to seeing them work their magic in a club environment. This tour saw Jence and Isi minus a drummer, with the two of them manning an assortment of synthesisers and controllers (I spotted a Native Instruments Mashine). Jence handled vocal duties superbly, faithfully reproducing songs from both Idealism and I Love You Dude.

Modular Records stalwart Beni was on warm-up duties, and he played a varied selection of house, including a few cuts from last year’s House of Beni. Sadly for the majority of his set he was playing to a mostly empty dance floor, with only a few brave souls venturing for a dance whilst others stocked up on drinks at the bar.

Shortly after 11pm, the Digitalism boys walked onto the stage, dressed all in black with smart suit jackets. Opening with the ominous Miami Showdown from 2011’s I Love You Dude, the bass was loud and the crowd was on their side early. Launching immediately into Idealistic, Jence stepped up the microphone and the majority of the crowd joined him in shouting the lyrics, with a few brave souls testing their crowd-surfing abilities.

With lighting and visuals being considered an integral part of the performance these days, Digitalism did not disappoint. The centrepiece was a giant white heart, which served as a projection screen for an assortment of images and video. Coupled with the suburb in-house lighting setup at HQ Complex, the visual display perfectly complemented Digitalism’s songs.

Proceeding with an assortment of material spanning both of their albums, Forrest Gump, I Want I Want, Circles featured, with the crowd particularly enjoyed the more vocal-driven tracks. 2 Hearts saw Jence making a heart-shaped symbol with his hands and almost the entire crowd reciprocate. Notably absent from the set-list was my personal favourite Homecoming, but this was quickly forgiven as they covered the majority of their back catalogue.

After a brief break and the crowd shouting ‘Pogo! Pogo!’, Jence and Isi resumed position behind their equipment playing a couple instrumental tracks which I could not recognise (possibly unreleased). Concluding their near 80 minute set with Pogo was a sure-fire way to send the crowd home on the right note, with the audience relished once last opportunity to jump up and down.

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