Australian indie-pop songstress Kimbra brought her highly eclectic catalogue to a show at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday, Nov. 3. Sponsored by footwear brand Steve Madden, a considerable turn-out was drawn. Tickets sold out within minutes of being available on Ticketmaster. The show was supported by her opening act, electronica vocalist Empress Of, a local trio from the borough whose use of sampling, bass and drum sections and vocal style is comparable to that of Grimes and FKA Twigs. Following the success of her 2009 album “Vows,” as well as her Grammy-winning contribution to Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” the singer released and is touring in support of her new album “The Golden Echo.” After her “Golden Electric Tour” of Australia with Janelle Monae was cancelled due to Monae’s illness, Kimbra embarked on her second solo U.S. tour. On this tour, Kimbra brought musicians Timon Martin on guitar and Stevie McQuinn, from her “Vows” tours, as well as new rhythm section Taylor Graves and Frank Abraham for her backup band.
Bringing her full energy into the first of three NYC shows, Kimbra took the stage in a large white and gold tinsel cover-up and some daunting heels. Opening with “Teen Heat,” the first track off “Golden Echo,” she whisked the layer away to reveal a large, reflective golden dress. The set list ranged from older hits like “Settle Down” and “Cameo Lover” to deep cuts from her newest record like “Goldmine” and “Rescue Him.” In addition to her vocal styling, Kimbra made use of a sampler and tambourine to add a live element to her presence. After the main set ended with the soulful groove of “Miracle,” the band left the stage, only for Kimbra to re-emerge with Graves to perform the piano ballad “As You Are.” The intimacy of the venue did not work in their favor, as rowdy crowd members were clearly heard from the back of the house. The encore set ended with a bang rather than a whimper when she brought out the rest of her band to play her 2009 hit “Come Into My Head.”
With two albums under her belt now, Kimbra proves that she can hold her own as a live performer. No longer constrained by her collaborations, Kimbra has finally developed her live act, not only as a show, but into an experience.