• Aphex Twin - Live at The Palace, Melbourne, Australia 6/3/2012

    7 mars 2012, 5h41m

    Tue 6 Mar – Aphex Twin, Mark Pritchard, jps, Mike Hunt

    Last night I almost melted. My brain nearly dripped out my ear, my legs nearly stopped supporting me, and my eyes were over stimulated to the point I felt like I was a part of the music itself. Yes, it was one of the best live shows I have ever seen, and truly a musical 'experience' and 'journey' rather than a mere musician playing his tunes. I was experiencing Richard D. James as Aphex Twin for the first time in my life.

    Warp label mate Mark Pritchard opened for Aphex, and did a fantastic job of getting the audience in the mood for the sort of electronic drum & bass music we would be getting attacked with later in the evening. Pritchard dropped some really fantastic tunes that really got the crowd working - which is something a support act usually never achieves, so it was a nice change of the usual 'oh we'll watch this boring band because there's nothing else to do for the time being' schtick. After Pritchard finished his set, Aphex began a long ambient intro into his set, and from then on, I was completely hooked into his audio/visual show.

    The first few tracks were hip hop influenced, and got everyone's head grooving. From then on in, he delved through his eclectic and wide back catalog of mostly unreleased material - with some familiar tracks dropped in-between to the crowds delight. What I found most surprising was how powerful Aphex Twin's bass was throughout his set - it literally felt like the music was traveling through your body from the legs up. You could feel your chest pulsating, and you almost felt scared to take a breath in! This became even more apparent in the final section of the set, which featured a lengthy noise/Drill & Bass/Drum & Bass section that felt like the music was attack your visual and audible senses. A nice surprise was the cameo from south African rappers 'Die Antwoord', who really added to the nights festivities. Their spirited and high energy performance really worked perfectly in conjunction with Aphex's beats. Although I had never really enjoyed their music before, they fitted in really well in this context. The crowd really loved their appearance, too.

    The final minutes of the show were a slow build of noise, with the bass and higher frequency glitchy sound bytes morphing into a giant wall of sound - probably the loudest thing I've ever witnessed in my life - that built into a massive climax, leaving you almost crippled on the ground with a huge smile on your face, which Aphex Twin suddenly ended abruptly, as if to say "I know you want more, but I'm not giving it to you". The crowd were left high and dry, and immediately began stamping their feet for more. I knew that Aphex Twin never did an encore, so I began walking out to beat the rush out. "Fuck off" and "Go kill yourself" were displayed on his giant LCD screen below his performing area - another reminder of Richard James' dark humour.

    Another standout factor of the night (apart from the music) were the visual aspects of the show. The lighting, lasers, and technology was some of the best I've seen, and they complimented the music perfectly all the way through the evening. Aphex had technology that synched the lights/technology to his music, so it all worked in harmony. The other great addition to the show were 3 camera with face recognition software filming peoples faces in the front row of the show. These cameras worked with software to morph peoples faces into the display on Aphex's LCD screen display on stage, which distorted their face and melted their image into the shows LCD display. One nice touch was the display of a series of images of famous Australian icons with their heads replaced by members of the crowd and Aphex Twin's twisted face from 'Windowlicker' and the cover of his album 'I care because you do'. The image of Julia Gillard in the hands of her bodyguard was particularly enjoyable!

    Overall, it was a monster of a show, and the hype and reputation of Aphex Twin was delivered to his audience, and then some. I could safely say that it was the best live show I've seen, and that Aphex Twin truly is a legend of the electronic genre. Who else can come on and play mostly unreleased material (instead of their well known crowd pleasers like Windowlicker) and create a better show than most other acts? Truly an enigma. Highly recommended.

    From my blog:

    Download a recording of the show here:

    Aphex Twin
    Aphex Twin, Palace Theater