By Christina Croucher
Artist: Milky Chance
Date / Venue: Friday January 9th, The Powerstation, Auckland
Milky Chance lit up the Powerstation last night with their first and only NZ show of their tour. The Germanduo Clemens and Philip were more like a trio last night with a second electric guitarist and harmonica player.
Frontman Clemens held his place at centre stage with his cool boy-next-door vibe and electric guitar. Philip, responsible for the duos production set up relaxed and bare-footed bringing a crowd feeding energy. His electronic set up included a couple of drums, mic for backing vocals, laptop; his role was largely percussive. The three guys welcomed an exciting and freshly-successful presence on stage, bringing to life their urban-organic video clips that are in growing demand on the net.
From the first track there were unfortunately a few sound issues that were not addressed promptly by the sound engineers; such as no recognisable volume from the snare drum and a seemingly uncomfortable level for the lead vocalist; but they didn't fail to impress with their long instrumental intro into the funky Stunner.
There was a constant driving kick drum throughout the gig that made even the slower bpm songs easy to have a chilled dance to. The dancefloor wasn't pumping but everyone had at least a solid foot tap and head nod the whole way through. I personally find it refreshing to hear electronic music that you can dance too that has a slower bpm; I think a lot of people have evolved to dance music being fast but it's great to see bands keeping the skanking rhythms. It's the Ska sound in Clemens drawn out vocals that really thread the sound of reggae influence through Milky Chance. That, his thoughtful lyrics and soulful roaring notes all bring an organic substance to the electric framework of their sound. Then, there is the bluesy way that the guitars are played and the folkiness of the organic delivery and addition of the show-stealing Harmonica. The sum of all these parts create an original sound which by no means comes across as contrived to fit a particular genre.
Standouts of the night were Flashed Junk Mind and Loveland which was painfully good; Clemens vocally entered the flow of the guitar riff and uses the bars to transfer poetic lyrics with soul-broken belting. All the songs drifted into each other which I could see caused a few to zone out and get distracted on phones etc, but if you were attentive to the music it actually made for a way to really engage and get taken away for the 17 song gig. Running was a crowd pleaser but not as much as the single which has gone gold, Stolen Dance. Despite it not being the best execution of the night it was a well- known favourite of the crowd. Milky Chance were screamed back on stage for an encore of Down By The River which is one of my favourite songs from the talented pair.
It is exciting to see so much self-driven success from two young musicians fresh out of music school. I am hooked on their sound and will definitely ride along with the other multi-million followers to keep up with their growing repertoire of music and videos.