Active Child @ Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne (Sat 26 Oct 2013)

went to this 10 years ago

The first time we saw Active Child was at the now defunct East Brunswick Club in February last year. At the time I knew nothing about him but loved the show. The You Are All I See album has been on high rotation at home for the last 18 months as we waited for his return to Melbourne.

Oliver Tank

Oliver Tank was the support for tonight. I’d not heard any of his music, but had heard that he was worth seeing. I really enjoyed his set but I wish he’d chill out on the vocal effects. There was some fantastic music in there, but with every songs having the same vocoder type effect, it got a bit much. The guitar sound was a little clangy as well. I’d be keen to hear some of his recordings, so may well just go and buy some.

Pat Grossi and band came on and went straight into “You Are All I See”, which incidentally was the same song they opened with when we saw them last year. This time, however, they were joined by a string quartet, as well as choral vocals of around 8.

Active Child at Melbourne Recital Hall

The set, as expected, was excellent- his vocals are amazing to hear live and it still confounds me how one person can be such an incredible vocalist, harpist and songwriter. On the morning of the show, I found the new EP, Rapor on Rdio, so we listened to it a few times through the day, as well as in the car on the way to the show. The new songs sounded sublime live, with the instrumental She Cut Me being the first of the new songs played. Calling In The Name of Love is my favourite off the new EP so far, and it sounded brilliant as well.

As I said before, the additional instrumentation and vocals lifted the live experience to a new level. There was a strange rattle coming from the balcony beside us that was set off at certain frequencies which did spoil the sound somewhat. I don’t honestly recall what the sound was like when we saw them last February, but wifey was saying after the show that she remembers the sound at that show was better than tonight. The vibe was certainly different- the East was a pub gig with plenty of drinking and cajoling, whereas this was a definite theatre show- seating and definitely no drinking in the auditorium.

I can’t rave about Active Child enough. After the show we bought the new EP, and were stoked to see Pat come out to talk to the fans. We got him to sign the EP and had a quick chat. Turns out that the string quartet was courtesy of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and that he’s thinking about doing a tour which would just be harp, strings and vocals- now THAT is something I’d love to see.

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went to this 10 years ago