Live Review: The Whitest Boy Alive, New Navy, Future Classic DJs – Keystone Festival Bar (21.01.2012)

The Keystone Festival Bar is filling up early, and unlike other Sydney Festival shows that attract families and “cultured” people, it’s filling with groups of mates here to get their dance on. Future Classic DJ’s help with that before New Navy arrive to play a fun and funky set. Their happy tunes get the crowd moving early and singles ‘Zimbabwe’ and ‘Tapioca’ are standouts of their show. They’re a delight to watch and they have an unbeatable stage presence.

The Festival bar really gives you the feel of being at a festival, despite being in the middle of the city and set on floorboards, not grass. There’s that one annoying person you can’t escape no matter how many times you move, the group of people sharing a bottle of smuggled vodka and even the occasional joint being passed around.

The Whitest Boy Alive arrive on stage to cheers and whistles, and open with ‘Keep A Secret’ from the 2009 album ‘Rules’. Their first few tracks blend in to one another, with each solo taking off on a tangent long enough to get people moving but not long enough to become boring. Each musical journey they take us on is a slow-build to an amazing climax and the band succeed at pleasing the crowd every time.

Lead singer Erlend Øye tries the best he can to get us to clap along throughout the show but it’s hard to concentrate on clapping when you’re dancing your arse off. The bands’ energy on stage is electric and this travels through the crowd, who show off their best moves all night. It’s only in the short gaps between songs and later during ‘Don’t Give Up’ that there’s a chance to rest. Øye, the confident but humble front man, says: “We were very happy to find out this show sold out in two days. We would like to know why?”

Standout moments such as stopping mid-song then not moving for a good 30 seconds in ‘1517’ and having Daniel Nentwig hold and play his synthesiser at the edge of the stage, during a blistering cover of ‘Show Me Love’ are among the reasons this show sold out. The Whitest Boy Alive are faultless performers, with every member on stage mastering their instrument to deliver an unforgettable show.

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Justine McNamara

I'm an Australian living in New York. I work in marketing but I write about music, New York, and my own personal experiences.

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