Review: Kimbra's energy proves infectious

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 13:46 29/07/2012
Kimbra
PETER MEECHAM / Fairfax NZ
ON FIRE: Kimbra performing at Auckland's Vector Arena last night.

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REVIEW: Her lyrics claim she wants to settle down, but nothing held Kimbra back as she took to the stage in a one-off, whirlwind concert last night.

Recently returned from touring the United States and Europe, the Hamilton-born popstar was the headline act for an Auckland University Students' Association festival at Vector Arena.

Joined by The Black Seeds and Ruby Frost, it was Kimbra's first New Zealand performance since the Big Day Out in January.

Also supported by dubstep act Mt Eden and Australian electro group Vandalism, The Black Seeds got the several thousand crowd grooving to 'Fire' before taking up the tempo for latest track 'Pippy Pip'.

The upbeat song from their new album Dust and Dirt got fans dancing, before the eight piece group moved onto crowd favourites So True and Cool Me Down, which saw plenty of arms raised, swaying in the air.

Kimbra then whipped the crowd into a frenzy before she even entered the stage.

The lights dimmed, the cell phones came out and cheers erupted throughout the arena as the raven-haired beauty roared across the platform.

With pink tambourine in hand, a colourful ruffled skirt and red lips, the petite songstress had bundles of energy to share.

Her velvety voice spoke of a lover's betrayal with Good Intent. Suited men danced across a screen above her, her colourful band supporting dutifully behind. Her voice lifted and took power. Trilling. Screaming.

"I've been performing in Vegas, Istanbul, Switzerland. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be back here," she said to cheers from the crowd, before launching into radio hit, Two Way Street.

Images of colourful fish graphics took over the screens and the crowd joined the 22-year-old as she belted out her many characteristic 'woah-ohs' and 'ooohs'.

At one point everyone seemed to just stop and watch. But she brought fans back to life, launching into crowd favourite Warrior.

Despite her small frame, Kimbra packed punch both vocally and physically. For an hour she treated fans to the likes of bubblegum pop hit Cameo Lover, and more aggressive numbers such as Come into my Head.

Hyperactive, she twirled, crouched and bounded across the stage, even head-banging at one point.

She put a new spin on Settle Down, the song she's carried since borrowing "an eight track recorder from the Hillcrest High music room".

"I've been living with this song a long time. You get sick of it. I did a new version when touring with Foster the People. I hope you like it."

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"I want to raise a child," her lyrics boldly proclaimed. It's the sort of non-cliché style which sets her apart. She's even been compared to the likes of Nina Simone, Bjork and Prince.The vintage-feeling tune started off mellow, added with layer upon layer until it almost sounds like rap.

Excitedly, she asked her fans - "What do you think?"

If the dancing, screaming and singing along were anything to go by, they loved it.

- Waikato Times

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