Concert Review: Chemical Brothers at Vector Arena

By Jacqueline Smith

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The Chemical Brothers live at Vector Arena in Auckland. Photo / Richard Robinson
The Chemical Brothers live at Vector Arena in Auckland. Photo / Richard Robinson

After 20 years making dance music, the Chemical Brothers know how to bring the house down.

Their intergalactic visual feast at Vector Arena last night was proof that last year's explosive album Further was aptly named. That's where they are taking their music.

The pair - Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands - have often claimed that be it on record or live, the magic of their act comes down to the performance. Any imperfections and tangents are supposed to be part of the package. Sure there are the party-hits and the mesmerising interludes, but it's all about the spirit, they say.

And by remaining true to that philosophy, as well as the backbone of their genre, they have pulled sell-out crowds around the world for decades - fans still hungry for the party hits of 1997, and fans who want to be challenged by the duo's newest hypnotic tirade.

Last night, Chemical Brothers delivered. Rarking the fist-pumping audience up with a Do It Again and Galvanize mash-up, they continued to push the crowd's buttons as they rolled towards Swoon, a contagious number from their latest album.

To augment the ambient electronica, the Chemical Brothers splayed projections of wild African animals and digital men performing dance moves across the backdrop.

The set peaked when they dropped their party hit Hey Boy, Hey Girl, and the maestros of dance carried that momentum through to the drill-like piece de resistance Escape Velocity, from Further.

The broad demographic of fans in the arena was proof that the Chemical Brothers have gained as many admirers through their new, floatier release as they have from their heavy hits.

It would be fair to say that the tracks with a lyric or two generated the most crowd reaction, but there wasn't a low point in the show. Good chemistry, it seems, transcends time, and generations.

CHEMICAL BROTHERS

Where: Vector Arena.

When: Last night.

- NZ Herald

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