Shigeto & Too Many Zooz @ Chevron Gardens (for Perth Festival)
w/ The Brow
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Perth Festival 2018 has seen an eclectic selection of performers take the stage at Chevron Gardens so far. Last Wednesday night’s line up comprised of both local and international genre defying acts which, despite the mid-week timeslot, made for the prefect hump day motivator to help make it to the weekend.
For the 6pm early birds who caught local electronic hip hop outfit The Brow (formerly Brow Horn Orchestra) on the smaller Garden Stage, they were rewarded with some upbeat yet relaxed sunset beats to see the day away. The eight-piece (though advertised as a seven-piece) kicked things off with a mix of beats littered with soulful vocals and MC magic. A small group drew to the stage early and danced away while many others chilled out on the lawn beyond.
If given the opportunity, The Brow would have probably dominated a larger stage with their energy, which often seemed to be constricted by the smaller stage. That didn’t stop members getting out into the crowd on occasion to spread some of that love around. Their horn heavy tunes felt right at home in the sunset timeslot.
From the depths of the New York subway system, Too Many Zooz took to the main stage right on 8pm. The self-described brass house trio, comprising Leo Pellegrino (saxophone), Matt Doe (trumpet) and David ‘The King of Sludge’ Parks (drums), were a powerhouse of dance-demanding sound.
The crowd grew quickly and amassed around the stage area where an infectious energy pulsed as they progressed through their set, largely dominated by tunes from their debut album Subway Gawds. While Doe and The King remained fairly static during the set, Pelegrino more than compensated with his iconic, hyperactive and often sexual dance moves over the next hour. His gyrating, shimmering and twerking were almost a show on their own.
The bass felt a little overpowering at times, but not enough to distract you from the intricate yet explosive brass work that always took the spotlight. You couldn’t help but move in some way or another during the set, especially when the brass intro to Warriors kicked in, clearly a crowd favourite.
After a 30 min break, giving punters more than enough time to hit the bar or grab a feed, the crowd started to fall in for headliner Shigeto. The drummer/producer took little time to kick things off following a quick intro before asking “you ready to vibe?” to a somewhat reduced, yet clearly amped, crowd as the lights dimmed and a smoky haze emerged from the stage.
He jumped into a tasty collection of tunes old and new to guide the crowd into the night. A mellow, low-tempo vibe was maintained early on with an almost mystical sound, enhanced with the continual and lingering smoke. Spending most of the set on the drum kit created little pockets of percussion that are one of the many key elements to Shigeto’s unique sound. As the set progressed the tempo picked up, creating a club dancefloor vibe at times.
The seamlessly transition between tracks and near constant flow of music made it difficult to pick out particular songs at times during the hour plus set, making it effortlessly easy to get lost in the moment. It wasn’t really just a set, it was more a journey of rhythm and sound that drew you in and held you in, as you were stuck in a somewhat trance status.
Photos by Cam Campbell