Charli XCX + Tkay Maidza @ The Met, 07.05.2015

Charli XCX @ The Met, Thursday 7 May 2015

I don’t know why but I’ve struggled for new music that I’ve liked so far in 2015 [and continued to do so for the rest of the year]. Last year was such a good year for music but this year has been more of less an endless parade of over-hyped acts and disappointing releases. It says a lot that one of my favourite and most listened to albums so far this year is the Young Guv album, and even that is far from perfect: with only 7 tracks, it manages to be too long and too short at the same time and despite the low song count, includes a couple of obvious filler tracks at the back end.

My other favourite album so far from 2015 is Charli XCX’s Sucker. My favourite albums from the last three years have been Sky Ferreira’s Night Time is My Time, Lorde’s Pure Heroine and Lana Del Ray’s Born To Die and although Sucker is good, I don’t think it matches the heights of the albums from those other three acts. It’s far too long for starters and would be better with a few tracks less. I also have issues with a couple of the key songs on the album; I just find ‘Break The Rules’ and ‘London Queen’ annoyingly juvenile when compared to the rest of the album.

Playing at The Met is always a strange choice of venue, as one that rarely gets used for live music, as opposed to its normal, everyday purpose as a night club. I think I’ve only photographed at The Met once before, when Regurgitator played and I Heart Hiroshima supported. It wasn’t the most enjoyable of photographing experiences, as there was no photo pit and the lighting was terrible, one of my very first encounters with blue LEDs.

This time around, there is a photo pit, although it’s tiny in its narrowness. The stage is so low that being in the pit is almost too close, and the 24-70mm lens I’ve got with me isn’t actually wide-enough. I don’t get to say that very often.

Tkay Maidza continues to be an excellent act, for one actually worthy of the hype from the Australian music media, and likely to achieve big and great things. But whereas Tkay has that down-to-earth charm, Charli XCX takes it to another level in terms of a slick, professional pop show performance.

The experience is just like being in a pop video. It’s like when you see clips of massive pop stars who would normally be playing arena-sized venues playing to a selected, lucky few fan club members in somewhere a lot closer to something on the toilet circuit.

She says it’s her first time in Brisbane, so like most of us who’d ever been there as photographers, she’s obviously repressed the whole Parklife experience. She played early in the afternoon on the Atoll stage all the way back in 2012. Thanks to taking my usual approach to festival photographing, and squeezing as much into to the day as is humanly possible (plus keeping on the move to avoid Parklife punters asking for photos) I’ve got some photos to prove that she’s been in town before.

She also tells us that she’s been in the city for a few days prior to the show, and regales us with her eating out experiences. It’s always a bit disappointing when you find out touring acts have actually been in Brisbane for a few days before their show as you always think it would have been cool to have arranged a face-to-face interview for someone to do. With Brisbane often being the first stop on an Australian tour, this happens a lot and it’s a shame these potential opportunities doesn’t present themselves very often.

Anyway, it’s one of the shows of the year.

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