Pop-Break Live: Gotye (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

lauren stern reviews the pop sensation’s performance in williamsburg, brooklyn…

Before his single became one of the most popular songs in the world, Wally De Backer, more notably known as Gotye, was an independent musician happily living and playing music in the land down under. After about ten years of making music, someone on the internet caught glimpse of the 32 year old singer and multi-instrumentalist’s single “Somebody that I Used to Know” featuring Kimbra and it was all downhill from there. Since the single first hit the web in 2011, “Somebody that I Used to Know” has topped the 25 national charts and has reached the top 10 in more than 30 countries around the world. Since May, the single has sold more than 7 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling digital singles of all time.

This is what you may already know about Gotye, but here’s something you probably don’t: He is a force to be reckoned with.

I learned this on Sept. 27 when I ventured out to Brooklyn, New York to see the Aussie singer/song-writer perform in Williamsburg Park. Going into the show, I honestly didn’t know what I was in for. I had only recently listened to his new album Making Mirrors in it’s entirety and I was unsure of how it would be reflected in a live setting. I also wasn’t an avid listener so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it more or less coming out of the live performance. But regardless, I went into the show with an open mind and an open heart and came out of it a huge fan.

The Givers

Before Gotye hit the stage, fans were welcomed by two incredible opening acts: Zammuto and Givers. Before attending the show, I had only heard of Givers before and expected to only enjoy them but I was just absolutely blown away by both performances. Zammuto and Givers are different in that Zammuto is more experimental and instrumental but they are the same in that they are both passionate, energetic performers and musicians.

After Zammuto and Givers hit the stage, everyone was just really excited and anxious for Gotye. During the break, there was so much equipment being brought out and seeing that just made me feel a little bit better about my pre-show expectations. From then on out, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy his performance. I think waiting for him to come out was the worst part of the entire night. I just couldn’t wait to see what was about to happen.

Once Gotye hit the stage and I heard the opening chords to his new single “Eyes Wide Open,” I was immediately mesmerized. What I thought was going to be a concert, became more of an experience. During each song, a projector displayed different pictures that matched the sound of the song and it made me feel like I was part of multiple live music videos. The art combined with the music really brought the songs to life and the imagery made Gotye’s performance more like a work of art.

My absolute favorite parts of the set were in the beginning when he played “State of the Art” and towards the encore when he played “Heart’s a Mess.” When I heard the recording of those songs for the first time, I thought they were the most remarkable and they were even more incredible live. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the set was phenomenal, but those two songs were the highlights for me. They were both absolutely mind blowing.

Now that the buzz around “Somebody that I Used to Know” has died down, many are wondering if Gotye is going to downgrade from major pop sensation to one-hit wonder. Unsurprisingly, in an interview with Billboard, Gotye said he that he’ll be okay with that happening but after seeing his performance, I’m definitely not. I know if people really gave Gotye a chance and listened to all of his music, they would see that he is not just the guy that sings “Somebody that I Used to Know” but an amazing singer, musician, and performer.