Concert Review: Gotye at Lakewood Civic Auditorium

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Mid-way through last night’s 90-minute concert at Lakewood Civic Auditorium, Belgian-Austrian singer-multi-instrumentalist Gotye invited patrons from the cheap seats to the front of the stage where they could stand and/or dance. Most of the fans took him up on his offer and migrated down from the general admission section. It was a good move on Gotye’s part to try to involve the audience. Too bad he couldn’t deliver the goods and resorted to playing a few “soft songs” before living up to fans’ expectations and delivering his catchy indie pop hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

The show started strong as Gotye, who regularly banged away at a variety of percussion instruments, stood at the rear of the stage and hammered a small drum kit during the opening number, “The Only Way.” Backed by a running series of video clips that alternated between animated shorts and landscape scenes, Gotye was often dwarfed by the show’s visuals. As a result, a song like the dreamy, Sting-like “Eyes Wide Open” didn’t really resonate even though the shots of desert landscapes were quite ethereal. Gotye was at his best when he cranked up the volume for the Peter Gabriel —like number “Thanks for Your Time” and switched to electronic organ for the groovy “State of the Art.” And he ended things with a bang, letting his superb five-piece band jam on the soulful show closer “Learnalilgivinanlovin.”

Indie pop act Chairlift opened with a set of atmospheric pop that recalled the Cocteau Twins. The textured vocals were both intoxicating and numbing. The instrumental act Zammuto started the show off with a 20-minute set of vigorous tunes that ended with a cool post-rock take on “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

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