Creative Destruction at the Corner

Gig Review: Art vs Science
The Corner Hotel, Richmond
Thursday 10th April 2014

Back in December 2011, I was lucky enough to catch 3 young guys play what turned out to be my gig of the year down at a local live music venue. That establishment was The Pier Hotel in Frankston. Sadly, The Pier has gone the way of so many other institutions around Melbourne, and no longer supports live music. Thankfully those 3 young guys are still kicking around the traps though. They are better known as Jim, Dan Mac and Dan W, or collectively as Art vs Science. After a 3 year hiatus, they released their long-awaited Create/Destroy EP earlier this month, and have just wrapped up a national tour supporting the release.

With such fond memories of previous live encounters with Art vs Science (including one particularly sweaty Big Day Out rendezvous), my trigger finger was poised on the mouse button and ready for multiple clicks the day the tickets went on sale. With the luxury of a close to home gig no longer on the cards, The Corner Hotel was a worthy substitute for this sold out show. The  relentless rain and even my downgraded designated driver status failed to dampen my spirits for the impending musical mayhem that was about to be unleashed.

Support artist, Kilter, kicked off the evening, playing an entertaining set to an appreciative crowd of early-comers. I was in awe, and just a wee bit jealous of his musical set-up- complete with keyboard, drum machine and a plethora of wonderful gizmos and buttons… made me think of the opening lyrics in the Propellerheads song, Bang On!…”Banks and banks of humming machinery, I’ve never seen so many knobs“! The Sydney-based artist delivered an energetic set of electro-indie remixes and original tracks that left me intrigued to learn more about him after the show.

And then it was time for the main act….

One of the things I love most about Art vs Science is their ability to mix musical genres. Nowhere is this more apparent than in their live sets, with tracks seamlessly flowing from heavy-doof electro through to wave-your-lighters-in-the-air indie pop, and a decent smattering of old fashioned rock to round things out. The Create/Destroy EP is a further representation of the musical diversity that characterises the band.

Riding off the back of a single release since their last tour didn’t seem to make the set list feel stale. Indeed, it is testament to the timeless appeal of the band’s music that the tracks felt just as fresh and exciting as if I was hearing them for the first time, and judging by the audience response, I wasn’t alone in feeling that way.

The show opened with the title track from their new EP, Create/Destroy and jumped straight into an assortment of crowd-pleasers including AIM Fire, Magic Fountain, Flippers and my personal pick for best bounce factor of the evening, Parlez Vouz Francais. New tracks were perfectly spaced between more well-known hits; my favourites being the delectably dark ebbing and flowing of Creature of The Night and the instantly likable dance track, Everybody Wants to Change. The stellar finale was, fittingly, an extended version of a track off the band’s debut self-titled EP, Hollywood. Including a trance-like intro, crowd singalong, rockin’ guitar solo and banging beats, it perfectly summed up the bands creative flair for sublime genre mash-ups.

I might not have emerged from this show in quite the same frame of mind or state of sweatiness as I did from their 2011 Pier Hotel gig, but the smile was just as big and the experience just as unforgettable. It was great to have a bit of Art vs Science back in my life!

(Images courtesy of Dan Soderstrom at speakertv.com)

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