To review MØ and Elliphant with a level of performance hierarchy would be misleading. Sure, in truth, MØ headlined. But what I saw on Wednesday night was an amazing contrast in delivery.
As an opening act, Elliphant really knows how to get a crowd in the mood. Sure, there were some little things lost on all, but it was a show of immediate, kinetic energy. Proclaiming an affection for Australia (on a personal note, as she revealed on a later track), Elliphant opened strong with ‘Look Like You Love It.’ And, boy, that was no call to put on a brave face, she genuinely looked like she was having a good time. I kind of back and forth with the whole solitary DJ deal… you know, the guy at the Mac Pro. Sometimes I truly yearn for a live kit… something, anything. But this set-up is ideal for Elliphant, it creates an intimacy, a centre-stage concentration. All eyes on her. Not that said DJ wasn’t working up a sweat, occasional sips from water bottles as he did a few 360 degree turns with his baseball cap… just kidding, he was bouncing around when needed. Elliphant is dynamic in that there is a genuine sense of wanting to warm with the audience, wanting to engage beyond just back and forth vocal theatrics. Standout tracks: Booty Killah and Revolusion (with a nice sorta adhoc nod to Tracy Chapman… hey, when the audience doesn’t respond to a call of ‘Revolusion’, then it is, as Elliphant cheekily acknowledged, a whisper). Blessah!
Not necessarily dialing it down, but minus the straight up reggae-pop delivery of Elliphant, Denmark’s MØ opened with ‘The Sea’. Yep, it was more a dreamy affair with music less inclined to bark, more inclined to ooze a thoughtful cool. Backed by some electrics, a live kit and an electric guitar, MØ was on point, her voice never finding fault. It’s the electric guitar that perhaps needed to dial it up, at times a little muted; lacking a full blown live scream in places where it could have soared (or maybe that’s just my own wanting. In hindsight, it could have been over bearing, taking from the sound that is). Backed by some choreographed vision (backing vocals included), MØ was electric. I’m still in a serious self-debate (yes, I just wrote that) over the ‘live kit’ V ‘no kit’ sound… argh, that's not exactly being picky, it's more an interesting topic for discussion. Standout tracks: ‘Walk This Way’ and ‘Dust Is Gone’.As a duel act, Elliphant and MØ are sensational. Long live the friendship.
Written by D.L. Bugeja
MØ & ELLIPHANT | OXFORD ART FACTORY | SYDNEY | 29.7.15