So Much More Than Just One Song

February 7th, 2012

Gotye – The Bowery Ballroom – February 6, 2012

With one of the most talked about songs and videos of 2011, “Somebody That I Used to Know,” it felt like Gotye was just waiting for that first New York City show that sells out with an air of mystery and excitement surrounding it. And Monday at The Bowery Ballroom was that show: two projectors on the balcony accompanied the music with beautiful custom animations, and onstage there more instruments than you could count or even name. I was unsure what to expect of the show because Gotye’s album is an interesting one, filled with a few obvious hits but also some otherwise quirky stuff.

Opening the show with the crowd-pleasing “Eyes Wide Open,” Gotye’s voice sounded fantastic—soulful, clear and strong enough to quiet a packed room. Despite so much visual stimulation, the set lacked nothing musically. Each band member switched roles at least once, which found Gotye taking on a lot of percussion. The crowd never stopped moving thanks to songs like “Easy Way Out” and “State of the Art,” during which Gotye used a different microphone to make his voice drop at least an octave.

After an eager fan threw a bra onstage, Gotye wore it throughout “Smoke and Mirrors” and announced that he was going to perform a song that “maybe you’re all waiting for or maybe you’ve heard too much of.” With that he played the familiar opening xylophone of “Somebody That I Used To Know” with clear adoration from all those waiting to hear it. Kimbra came out to sing her part to even more applause and they did justice to the song that so many have listened to, covered and loved. Clearly Gotye is no one-hit wonder, and in thinking steps ahead of most when it comes to his live show, 2012 might very well be his year. —Lauren Glucksman

Photos courtesy of Diana Wong |