REVIEW: Chemical Brothers - Melbourne Arena 5 November 2019 - Noise11.com
The Chemical Brothers, music news, noise11.com

The Chemical Brothers

REVIEW: Chemical Brothers – Melbourne Arena 5 November 2019

by Tim Cashmere on November 6, 2019

in News

As I joined a crowd weighted heavily towards the middle-aged ex-raver and descended on the rarely utilised Melbourne Arena for the first Chemical Brothers gig in the city since 2013, I began to ponder the duo’s place in music history. Were they true musical legends, or do I just remember them fondly because they were a large part of the soundtrack to my teenage years?

Fast forward to 9 o’clock in the dark confines of the sterile cavern that is generic arena #40927. A chopped up version of Junior Parker’s take on The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ at a volume just loud enough to get the crowd’s attention begins playing. Enter the stars of the show and straight away we’re into ‘Go’, from their 2015 album ‘Born In The Echoes’. Now we’re cooking. The crowd is instantly swept up in the furore of flashing lights and signature big beats, but there still feels like something is missing. Enter song two, ‘Free Yourself’ from their 2019 album ‘No Geography’. “Free yourself. Free me. Dance.” The instructions from a melodramatic face bellow out over the crowd a few times. “Free yourself. Dance.” it says again as a final instruction before the bass kicks in at a volume loud enough to make your vision
go blurry. The crowd roared and the two-hour show was in full flight.

The whole show is filled with unbelievable visuals and they make the show worth it alone, but the real drawcard for me has always been their use of dynamic range – the use of volume. They always have some fuel in their tank, even if you think they’re already running at full capacity.

As the set churned through tunes from their new album all the way back to their 1995 debut ‘Exit Planet Dust’ (with ‘Chemical Beats’ popping up early on), the enormous screen that dwarfed the actual musicians overwhelmed the senses with scene after scene of super-hi-res Marcel Duchamp-esque scenes accentuating the relentless rhythm pounding on our eardrums.

They wore their influences on the sleeve more than once with their 2002 single ‘Star Guitar’ appearing from a ground-up version of New Order’s ‘Temptation’, and later The Rolling Stones ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ would pierce through their epic signature closer ‘The Private Psychedelic Reel’.

Was the show perfect? Well, no. It was mostly killer, some filler. For every action of collective euphoria (I’m looking at you, ‘Galvanize’), there was a time when the crowd collectively wondered if this were really necessary (*cough* ‘Saturate’ *cough*).

With two encores, the show might have gone on a bit longer than it had to – a theory supported by the not-insignificant number of people who saw fit to leave before the band returned to the stage a third time – but with that came a show that had something for every fan.

I have such fond memories sneaking into the now-defunct CBD nightclub The Metro (later renamed The Palace) in January 2000, just weeks before my 18th birthday where the Manchester duo inflicted total sensory overload in what was still one of the loudest shows I have ever been privy to. In fact, this tour was acknowledged tonight during ‘Block Rockin’ Beats’ as they used the same comparatively lo-fi visuals that blew minds all those years ago.

Now, at 37, I’m a little older, a little wiser, but still just as in love with The Chemical Brothers as I was twenty years ago. To answer the question posed in the beginning: Are they true musical legends? The answer is a resounding yes. Love them or hate them, there was nobody like them before they came onto the scene and there has been nobody like them since.

Were we watching two guys in their forties jumping around to a bunch of flashing lights for two hours? Nah, we were ten thousand and two people jumping around together to a bunch of flashing lights for two hours, and it was, despite its imperfections, absolutely glorious.

Setlist for The Chemical Brothers at Melbourne Arena, 5 November 2019

Go
Free Yourself
Chemical Beats
M.A.H.
EML Ritual
Swoon
Temptation/Star Guitar/Gravity Drops
Got To Keep On
Hey Boy Hey Girl
Eve of Destruction
Saturate
Elektrobank
No Georgraphy

Encore 1:

Escape Velocity/The Golden Path
Hoops/Get Up On It Like This
Under The Influence/Dig Your Own Hole
Wide Open/Don’t Think
Galvanize
C-H-E-M-I-C-A-L/Leave Home/Song To The Siren
Block Rockin’ Beats

Encore 2:

Got Glint?
Catch Me I’m Falling
Electronic Battle Weapon 8
The Private Psychedelic Reel/Sympathy For The Devil

Noise11 on Instagram

You’ll discover music news first following Noise11 on Twitter

Comment on the news of the day, join Noise11 on Facebook

Noise11.com

Listen to the Noise11 Music News channel now at iHeartRadio

Related Posts

Every Time I Die
Four of the Five Every Time I Die Members Quit The Band

Four fifths of the band Every Time I Die have quit the band leaving Keith Buckley as the bandless lead singer.

16 hours ago
Mariah Carey wedding dress
Mariah Carey To Release A Children’s Book

Mariah Carey has unveiled the title of her upcoming festive-themed children's book.

5 days ago
Muse play Rod Laver Arena 2017. Photo by Ros O'Gorman
Muse Debut New Song ‘Won’t Stand Down’

Muse have new music for 2022. Check out ‘Can’t Stand Down’.

5 days ago
Shania Twain, music news, noise11.com
Shania Twain Congratulates Taylor Swift On Beating Her Record

Shania Twain has congratulated Taylor Swift on beating her Billboard Country Albums chart record.

January 11, 2022
Ashley Roberts Pussycat Dolls, music news, noise11.com
Pussycat Dolls Discovered Their Tour Was Cancelled In An Instagram Post

The Pussycat Dolls have claimed they only found out about their tour cancellation via Nicole Scherzinger's Instagram post.

January 11, 2022
Avril Lavigne. Photo by Ros O'Gorman.
Avril Lavigne Invites Famous Friends to Feature On Next Album

Avril Lavigne's new album will feature "the most" collaborations she's ever had.

January 10, 2022
Kanye West photo by Ros O'Gorman
Kanye West Rumoured For Coachella

Kanye West has reportedly been tapped to headline the Sunday night at Coachella 2022.

January 7, 2022