An exhilarating performance from the boys hailing from Toronto, our neighbors from over the Atlantic delivered a show that had a sold out O2 Ritz swaying through a spectrum of emotions.
Ten minutes before BadBadNotGood were due to come on, an individual covered by the shadows from a dimly lit stage crept across all corners whilst slowly lighting incense through the creeks and cracks of a complex setup of instruments. It was almost an intro performance itself, setting the tone for what was about to take place.
The four piece emerged with a flamboyant welcome from the audience, taking their place at their respective stations starting immediately with “Speaking Gently” from the album IV. There was incredible clarity from each instrument; Leland took to the front of the stage with a heavily delayed flute, sounding even smoother live as it bounced across all walls of the venue. Alex was suspiciously quiet on the microphone at the start; a few songs in and the drummer welcomed the crowd confirming that it had been three years since their last performance in Manchester. Even though the attendance had almost quadrupled, the intimacy of their performance was still very much present.
Matthew on the keys kept up a continuous groove as they introduced ‘Kaleidoscope’ from their previous album III, the pace increased and the head boppers amongst the crowd were in full swing. After a burst of impromptu syncopated jamming we entered an interlude phase where the bass and keys paired into a soft soundscape, alongside frontman Alex lunging across the stage asking the audience to raise their arms and spread the good vibes, from front to back. The band welcomed support act Rex Orange County on stage for a performance before introducing Charlotte Day Lewis, the singer steals the limelight for a moment as a wave of faces across the crowd begin to smile whilst singing along to ‘In Your Eyes’. Lovely.
After Charlotte departs, it’s only fitting that the band switches up the mood for the final chapter of the performance. Everything is played faster and surprisingly even tighter, Alex takes to the mic again and asks all audience members to crouch to the floor whilst they progressively build up ‘CS60’, all those who follow orders wait patiently before the four piece play with elation causing the audience to erupt on to their feet in sync, making it feel as if we were watching a late night festival performance. As we wait for an encore, the band return to the stage and hilariously play a funky upbeat cover of the James Bond theme tune before their final performance of the song ‘IV’.
Watching BadBadNotGood confirmed how true musicianship and incredible chemistry between members and the audience should be displayed. They’ve been tipped as innovators for a while now and we can only wait to see what’s next in store for these individuals.
Photo courtesy of BadBadNotGood
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