Vivid LIVE wrap-up

This year’s Vivid LIVE may not have been curated by the a muso who once played with Velvet Underground or Roxy Music, but Stephen ‘Pav’ Pavlovic dis one hell of a job curating the festival – even if he did cop a bit of flack for including a solid chunk of the Modular stable on the bill.

Highlights included Bat For Lashes’ Australian debut, hearing Spiritulized’s glorious Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space in full, the assault of Odd Future arriving in the Studio and, of course, those epic shows performed by The Cure. FasterLouder’s writers and photographers spent plenty of time under the lit up sails of the Sydney Opera House during the festival covering all the action – here’s what they heard and saw.

The Cure

With a set bordering four hours, it was hard to leave the show without a sense of satisfaction, but the Cure had given the audience something more. The title ‘Reflections’ was an apt choice for the two concerts with the band and fans taking one another on a rare and special event likely to be remembered by both for the rest of their lives.

Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes has a flair for transporting listeners into an alternate world that is at once haunting, ethereal and beautiful. Taking her place on the Concert Hall stage at the Sydney Opera House, the alluring songstress gave a performance that had the audience enchanted from start to finish.


With an impressive live setup that included close to 30 players we were treated to a gospel choir, horn and string sections and of course Spiritualized the band. The members looked rather low key, emotionally neutral and workmanlike in appearance but they were all well schooled in the music and their playing was well balanced between studious precision and free jazz wanderings… Heartbreak never sounded so good.

Odd Future

The reality of it all is that the show could never have met the expectations of most. There were flashes of brilliance and spark that suggest Odd Future could have their show nailed down tight by the time they leave the country but for the first show it was probably best experienced by those with the ability to switch off their lights for an hour and get fucked up with the masses in the middle of a mosh circle.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

The band instructed the audience to get up and put their hands in the air, this command alone saw the majority of the audience making the right decision to avoid returning to their seats for the rest of the night. From the second track out, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble had the complete attention, and command of their audience.


In an interview, the band described their live shows with friends being ruined by art students and I can’t help but reach the same conclusion about tonight. Did we ruin WU LYF’s show? The mood in the crowd remained a weird mix of excitement and curiosity, tempered by standoffish elitism.

Architecture in Helsinki

Architecture in Helsinki are as perfect a musical act could be for the Vivid LIVE festival line-up this year. Why? Because if you have had the great fortune to see them perform live then you will already know that their on stage ambience represents all things colourful, happy and what’s upbeat in the world.

Cut Copy

The epic location only encouraged Cut Copy to stage a show that was equally as epic. Their 1.5 hour set topped off with an impressive encore featuring a choir of white-robed gospel singers.

Tame Impala

Performing on such hallowed turf as this seemed to throw the four of them, what with the polite applause after each song rather than the more energised and animated crowds Tame Impala are used to.

Sonny Rollins

“Rollins is connected with every note he plays, from his lengthy single note drones to his quick scale runs. With the deep link he possesses with his improvisation and playing it’s easy to understand why he considers it “better than sex.

The Crystal Ark

In the right context it could’ve been fantastic, but tonight it was a good show that just couldn’t take off.