The Australian dance outfit made a long awaited return to Ireland, playing a stunning set of material from the classic Since I Left You and last year’s Wildflower
This show was originally scheduled to take place across town at the Academy last Friday, but given that we’d already waited 16 years since The Avalanches’ previous Irish appearance, a few extra days wasn’t going to make much difference. With Gun N’ Roses’ ‘Mr Brownstone’ fading out in the background, Robbie Chater, Tony Di Biasi and co. finally make their entrée back onto an Irish stage, kicking into ‘Because I’m Me’ from last year’s superb Wildflower.
That record was a hell of a lot better than it had any right to be, turning out to be one of 2016’s finest albums. Unlike other efforts with a similarly epic production history – GNR’s Chinese Democracy springs to mind – Wildflower’s tortured creation (arriving 16 years after the band’s classic debut Since I Left You) somehow avoided the trap of being unable to meet impossible expectations.
Ultimately, indeed, we were happy just to hear the damn thing at all. So now that they’ve actually made it here, what does an Avalanches show sound like? Well, only the best party you’ve ever been to in your life. With a giant version of the trippy Wildflower cover acting as the backdrop, Chater (guitars) and Di Biasi (keyboards), along with MCs Eliza Wolfgramm and Spank Rock and drummer Paris Jeffree, embark on a stunning magical mystery tour through a dazzlingly eclectic mix of dance, rock, funk, soul and psychedelia.
Early highlights include the bonkers pop singalong of ‘Frankie Sinatra’ and a techno-tinged ‘Flight Tonight’, although even they’re eclipsed by an absolutely thumping ‘Radio’. The whole crowd get on their feet for the ingenious sample collage of ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’, while the sun-kissed ‘If I Was Folkstar’ is sheer chillwave bliss. After the short main set, Di Biasi commences the encore by saying he hopes it’s not so ridiculously long until the group’s next Irish visit. That’s the cue for a majestic ‘Since I Left You’, which makes for a brilliantly climactic finale.
Clocking in at just an hour, the show was undoubtedly far too short. But it was, as they say, all killer, no filler.