Mazzy Star + Gareth Liddiard
@ Sydney Opera House
11/06/18 (Live Review)
Reviewer: Ro Llauro
Mazzy Star delivered a perplexing performance on Monday. A performance that juxtaposed Gareth Liddiard’s opening act. The lead and founding member of The Drones delivered a friendly and entertaining show in a well-lit stage with plenty of interaction with the audience.
Then came time for Mazzy Star. A puzzling projection of old landscape photographs from America’s 40s and 50s overlaid with simple animated drawings, dust, scratches and other shapes resembling constellations set a rather shadowy and ominous atmosphere.
And so they walked in, took their positions, plugged in, and started playing. The audience indulged, letting themselves be transported to this dim, under-lit, dreamy world.
Hope Sandoval’s shyness was made evident in her reserved speech. Cloaked in darkness she only spoke to the audience when it was absolutely necessary: “What a day…” she mumbled in what seemed to express frustration rather than joy.
The spectacle resembled something Pink Floyd might pull-off during one of their acoustic songs, maybe even something fitting to Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s post-rock sound full of drones and long guitar swells. Yet, as amusing and intriguing as it was, the novelty seemed to wear off quickly for an audience who started to question whether there was a technical problem with the lighting.
“We can’t see you!” shouted a man from the audience. Possibly one of the people who walked out after 35 minutes of seeing nothing but Hope’s silhouette.
The Sydney Opera House has stated that: “The lighting set up was a deliberate staging decision by the band.” Fans should have understood this was part of Mazzy Star’s show and Hope Sandoval’s timid style.
The ambience was suitable to the band’s slow-paced dream pop feel but challenging after 10 pm, a time when such atmosphere runs the risk of becoming more somnolent than dreamy.
Connect with MAZZY STAR!