Christina Wright

Gotye at the Riverside Theater

Gotye's sensory overload Saturday night set at the Riverside showed there's more to his act than "Somebody That I Used To Know."

By - Aug 28th, 2012 11:41 am

(Photos: CJ Foeckler)

As overplayed as the song has become, Gotye’s pop sensation “Somebody That I Used To Know” does not define him as a musician. This was abundantly clear at the Riverside Theater on Saturday night.

Gotye and his band took to the stage after opening acts by fellow Australians Jonti and Missy Higgins. The antithesis of the ego-driven front man, Gotye began the show from a microphone at the back of the stage. He started off with the trippy “State of the Art,” a spacey tune with heavily warped vocals and echoey sonar-like sounds. Each song was accompanied by intriguing videos projected onto a screen at the back of the stage. Gotye maneuvered around the stage singing from multiple microphones and playing a variety of instruments–he leant particular gusto to the drums.

Part of what makes “Somebody That I Used To Know” so popular is its appeal to our emotions; we’ve all experienced the sadness of losing a connection with a loved one. The song that everyone now sings in their sleep was made new thanks to Missy Higgins, who sang the verses originally sung by Kimbra. Gotye also tugged on the audience’s collective heart strings with the soaring “Heart’s a Mess,” a brooding plea to an emotionally closed-off girlfriend, perhaps.

Other highlights included “Easy Way Out,” which was coupled with a daring animated short featuring a distraught drug abuser running toward a futuristic metropolis, and “Thank You For Your Time,” a sarcastic, drumbeat-infused take on annoying customer service phone calls. “Thank You For Your Time” was combined with retro-inspired animation featuring ladies dressed as stewardesses from the 1960’s.

To merely call Gotye’s performance a concert does not do him justice–this was an all-out sensory experience. Near the end of the show, Gotye invited the audience to gather in front of the stage, the crowd rushed in to be closer to the energy, and Gotye and his band turned the Riverside into a dancing-room-only party.

Categories: Life & Leisure, Rock

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us