Right now I’m trying to imagine myself as a pop-loving 16-year-old, on the verge of discovering the alternative music scene but not quite ready to give up my top 20 hits.
I’m doing this because if I was that person, right now, I would be unable talk about anything but the best-concert-EVER!
Please excuse me for so terribly trying to set the scene, but those are the shoes I need to fill as I write a review for the concert played at the Wellington Opera House last night by Broods. I say that because almost every person who went to this concert fitted the above description and they all seemed to love every second of it. At least that’s what their screams, awkward dance moves and irremovable grins told me.
I however, need a bit more convincing. Don’t get me wrong, I was still impressed by this New Zealand brother-sister duo, there’s a lot to love, but after last night’s show I left feeling a little bit underwhelmed.
I’ve always thought the Nelson sibling’s singles Bridges and Mother and Father were catchy wee tunes but they’d never made the rotation on my music playlist. However, I decided to check them out live after hearing a radio interview last week in which Caleb and Georgia Nott played an acoustic version of Sober. It was simply stunning. In fact I was so impressed I bought tickets to their gig right then and there. But this is where I run into problems, last nights show was very different to this performance.
I went along hoping for a few hair-raising moments and I’ll give the Nott’s credit, these I got. In a gorgeous stripped back acoustic take on their latest single Four Walls, Georgia’s voice was impeccable, Caleb’s keyboard playing was delightfully delicate and the pair soared. We saw shades of this again in slow tune Medicine and a new song, which they told us, was unfinished but in my opinion, doesn’t need any more work.
The trouble for me was that more often than not I felt the beauty of the songs, which are all well written and well performed, was tainted by over production. There was a tad too much synthesizer often drowning out Georgia’s incredible falsetto and Caleb’s gentle but chilling harmonies.
I have no doubt this concert would make for a fun dance party, something their music is made for, but the Opera House was the wrong venue for that. Spread out seating didn’t work in their favour, Broods needed their audience up close and personal, they needed a sweaty pit of swaying fans not people trapped by their seats wishing they could get closer. Even still they did a great job of making party tracks like L.A.F and Everytime go down as crowd favourites.
One thing’s for sure, I got a real sense of kiwi pride watching these guys play. Seeing musicians from our little corner of the world doing so well in the international music scene is fantastic. Regardless of my few reservations, Broods are great performers for artists so young in their career. Their stage presence and musical abilities are enviable.
I want to reinforce, despite my above criticisms, there were many highlights for me in this gig. If pop music is your thing, you’d be in for a treat at a Broods concert. As for me, and anyone else who leans more toward the mellow electronica tunes, lets hope the duo do an acoustic tour because that, would be something to see I’m sure.