By Lauren Gill
Belgian-born, Australian-bred Gotye (real name Wouter de Backer) confirmed that he is much more than a one-hit wonder with his electric sold-out show Friday night at the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby.
First to perform that evening was Gotye’s opening-act Kimbra, a doll-like Kiwi dressed in a ruffly blue prom-dress-gone-bad. Kimbra powered through a solid nine-song set that included songs from her upcoming album, “Vows” (slated for a May 22 US release). The doll-like Kimbra owned the stage, shining especially on her set-openers “Cameo Lover” and “Settle Down.”
As the Tower Theatre reached capacity, however, it was clear that the audience had come for Gotye. Opening his set with the chugging “Eyes Wide Open,” the crowd jumped up from their seats. The multi-instrumentalist wowed the highly receptive crowd as he made his way through songs from both of his albums, “Like Drawing Blood” and “Making Mirrors”.
Throughout the evening, videos with footage of bizarre church-like images and cacti with faces growing on top of each other, suggested that Gotye did not take himself too seriously. Whether he was conducting audience sing-alongs or bantering with the crowd, Gotye was as playful as he was charming, often hopping from instrument to instrument, a feat made possible by the square positioning of a keyboard, drums, tambourine and synthesizer.
One of the highlights of the evening came with the song “State of the Art”, a raeggae-esque song that Gotye referred to as a favorite trinket and in which he used a vocoder—a type of speech synthesizer.
Halfway through his set, Gotye hinted at a second appearance by his tour-mate Kimbra and so came the moment the crowd had undoubtedly anticipated. Before the duo began their popular song “Somebody that I Used to Know,” Gotye urged the audience to live in the moment by putting away their choice of technology, whether camera, iPhone or iPad. Much of the audience followed Gotye’s advice and was treated to a dynamic rendition of Kimbra and Gotye’s hit.
After ending the regular set with the soft “Bronte,” Gotye walked offstage to chants of “encore” echoing through the crowd. Luckily, Gotye did not let the crowd go unheard and reemerged for three more songs. After “In Your Light” and “I Feel Better”, songs that have raised comparisons between Gotye’s vocals to those of Peter Gabriel and Sting, Gotye energetically performed “Learnalilgivinanlovin” and said goodbye to his audience with a humble “cheers.”
Kimbra Set List:
Love is a Two Way Street
Come Into my Head
Gotye Set List:
Eyes Wide Open
The Only Way
Easy Way Out
Smoke and Mirrors
State of the Art
Thanks for your Time
Don’t Worry, We’ll be Watching You
Somebody that I used to Know
Heart’s a Mess
In Your Light
I Feel Better