In hindsight, we should’ve expected an unconventional show from Pnau at their first Sydney headline date in five years, but what went down was still a surprise.
Casually gracing the stage as if he were chatting with a bunch of his best mates, Pnau founder Nick Littlemore let the buzzy yet distracted audience know that their imminent 90-minute set would be filmed. Oh, and that everyone should make bird noises and essentially get more rowdy before his return in approximately four minutes’ time. And once ‘Wild Strawberries’ kicked into gear, the party was on.
Joined by drummer Tim Commandeur, producer Sam Littlemore and vocalist Kira Divine, Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes created their own late-night disco club vibe to endearing yet confounding effect. While animated visuals illuminated the stage and Divine worked her moves to match her stellar voice, a seemingly disbelieving Littlemore found it difficult to keep up the energy with everything else happening onstage.
A wide range of tracks from across Pnau’s discography – early instrumental bangers nearing 20 years old to those crowd-pleasers from Pnau – saw the balance and consistency of the set waver between instrumental and vocal-led tunes rather than flowing cohesively. It all sounded great individually, but put together, it felt fickle.
Just like the one poor soul dressed in a deflated, vision-impairing disco ball costume as he was bounced around the stage like a pinball, many of the crowd was sweaty, finding it hard to keep up and unsure of what would come next, but going along with it anyway.
Nonetheless, the life-sized disco ball wasn’t enduring, and when Pnau’s new classic ‘Chameleon’ came out of nowhere mid-set, it was the perfect opportunity to re-energise and bask in the splendour of brilliant dance music.
Littlemore and the new live version of Pnau eventually found their groove in time for their self-titled album to fill the rest of the set. The frontman gave thanks to the heaving crowd, explained how encores are weird because everyone knew the only song left to play was ‘Embrace’, and requested more bird noises to a roar of enthusiasm.
Pnau played the Metro Theatre on Friday May 5.
This article was originally published on The Brag.