The Presets, The Tivoli (16 February 2013)

The Presets at the Tivoli, Brisbane, February 16 2013

Many electronic acts’ live performances are little more than a reproduction of their recorded music combined with insipid banter and flashing lights.

The Presets don’t do that. Their live show is actually a show – complete with a perfectly sequenced setlist, reinterpretations of popular tracks and a stage presence born of enthusiasm rather than uninspired chitchat.

Last night’s show, Brisbane’s first since the release of Pacifica, was heavy on new tracks, opening with “Push” and ultimately featuring eight songs from the new album at the expense of older classics. Don’t take this as a complaint – the setlist was near-perfect, full of surprise inclusions like “Girl and the Sea” and “AO,” and several tracks that took on new life live, whether it was a stripped back introduction to “This Boy’s In Love” (not my favourite song on record, but outstanding live), a beefier take on “Promises,” or the uninterrupted triptych of “I Go Hard, I Go Home” into “Youth In Trouble” into “My People,” my personal highlight.

With few exceptions, the sound was robust, muscular and electrifying. They didn’t need an encore, but there was one nonetheless: a thrilling fusion of “Steamworks” and “Anywhere” that ended the evening on a high note.

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