9 May 2011
|Tour by Unkle|
|Location||2 Macquarie St; Sydney, NSW 2000; Australia|
|Venue||Sydney Opera House|
"UNKLE are bringing their new live show to the comfortably adult confines of the Sydney Opera House. The full band (in its latest incarnation anyway) replete with string section, will be taking over the Concert Hall with an array of LED screens, video projections and lights. They'll be performing both new and old material, in what will be a truly spectacular sensory and auditory experience."
Burn My Shadow
Keys to the Kingdom
Money and Run
Eye for an Eye
In a State
"It's a shame, then, that what had the makings to be a special night turned out to be so, well, lustreless. You could blame the audience—who, apart from the odd diehard fan dancing in front of their seat, were rather subdued, even for a Monday night—but it seems unfair to criticise a crowd who aren't really offered a whole lot to lose their shit over. Despite the drummer and both guitarists really smashing it out on tracks like "Burn My Shadow" and "Restless," what the band normally get away with at a festival didn't translate to the dense atmosphere of the concert hall. The backdrop footage of past guest singers like Ian Brown and Josh Homme tried to compensate for a lack of any real front man (surely Gavin Clark could fill this role?), yet without one to hold everything together, the band at times seemed exposed and disconnected. Watching Lavelle do very little in front of all his equipment except press some buttons, cue up a record or strike Jesus poses was especially odd.
The biggest let down, though, was not only the poor sound quality of the strings, but also how seldom they were used. They accompanied all the obvious tracks—"Reign," for example—but for a gig whose raison d'etre seemed to be the inclusion of a string ensemble, its lack of incorporation throughout was curious. The fact that you could barely hear them didn't help either. Admittedly, the vibe picked up considerably for the encore (I'm surprised they even got one) after Lavelle spilled his guts on how amazed and humbled he was to be performing at the Opera House, coaxing the audience to get off their bums for classics like "Heaven," "In a State" and "Lonely Soul." They obliged, but it all felt a little too late. A career-defining moment it wasn't."