The Presets have landed, kicking off their national tour in Perth to launch their highly anticipated fourth album HI VIZ. If your mate gave you a mixtape of the biggest electronic music hits of the last decade, it would sound like The Presets at Metropolis Fremantle.
The night started with Melbourne duo Kult Kyss who are breaking into the world of electro-pop with a couple of great tracks under their belts. Their lush, almost tropical beats by Haxx and beautiful vocals from Rromarin served as a perfect start to the evening.
Roland Tings, predominantly a solo act, took to the stage with a drummer and guitarist for an ethereal start to a set, seeing the live trio layer synths on drum loops to envelope the growing crowd in a blanket of sound. As the set became more upbeat, so too did the audience, until their setlist was packed with well known tracks such as Pala and Hedonist. Drummers with electronic acts are such a special gift for audiences who can enjoy the ferocity of a drum kit colouring the tracks with fills and drops, and Roland Tings showcased this perfectly.
Upon arriving onto the stage to a roar of adoration from a packed Metropolis Fremantle, The Presets instantly had the WA crowd jumping, screaming and dancing. Their opening number Talk Like That gave a sense of ‘fuck you, we’re here!’, which was a beautifully bold choice to open their set. The energy rarely wavered lower than this point from here on.
Attending a Presets gig is a feast for the ears and eyes, with videos in the background dazzling you with psychedelic imagery while the music pulses through your body. Vocalist and synth player Julian Hamilton’s voice and electrifying stage presence had the crowd watching his every move and listening to every improvisation and lyric. Meanwhile, Kim Moyes (drums and synths) was across the stage wearing a red wig and white coveralls, driving every track with his impeccable timing whilst jumping from his acoustic kit to his Roland SPD percussion pads repeatedly through the evening.
The audience was surrounded by a visual magic show of the two artists, lights strobing and flashing across the stage and slicing through the thick smoke, to be greeted by the cinema screen of geometry shapes dancing to the beat. This was how to put on a rock show with electronic music.
Their new album HI VIZ is possibly one of their best yet with a return to the familiar and hard-hitting sounds of their first two releases Beams and Apocalypso. The Presets have drawn together the best producers and collaborators for this album, from Alison Wonderland to DMA’s. An absolute highlight of the evening was the song Downtown Shutdown from HI VIZ, which is a remarkable track that separates itself from the rest with its upbeat vibrancy and callbacks to 80s hip hop and funk.
This was The Presets at their best, just when you thought they couldn’t get any better. Songs like This Boy’s In Love, My People, and Do What You Want gave Metropolis Fremantle that perfect ‘best party ever’ soundtrack. With one of their closing songs being the masterful opus Until The Dark, The Presets haven’t just ‘made a comeback’ — they never went away. This show, this tour, and this new album prove that The Presets were always there at the top of the game. Let’s hope they stay that way for a long time to come.
Photos by Owen Gregory
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