Perfume Genius – Gorilla, Manchester Live Review

On Friday 3rd November i found myself with nothing to do, so I headed down to Gorilla with the aim of finding a ticket for Perfume Genius’ show that night, and what a decision it was.

Mike Hadreas, the Seattle born singer songwriter known as Perfume Genius, performed to a packed out Gorilla on Friday night and brought flair, passion and sedative dance moves with him. It was a set that id been dying to see having not being able to travel to End Of The Road, and having been told that he was an act to defiantly catch live.

Support on the night came from Julianna Barwick, a Brooklyn based solo artist who unifies piano and synths to create a stunning, washed out, airy sound. Her set provided a wonderful start to the evening with her Glorious piano looping techniques and reverb heavy vocals drifting through the air. Not to mention the stunning and abstract visuals that were displayed via a projector behind her.

Perfume Genius opened the night with the subtle, yet vigorous sounding ‘Otherside’, the first track from his new critically acclaimed album ‘No Shape’. The bursting and euphoric synths and chimes, fading instantly into a calming and soothing piano, created that euphoric impression that Mike Hadreas presents in his music. This was followed by the 80’s synth infused ‘Longpig’ my personal favourite track from the artist. The epic sounding track which sounds like it has been ripped from a Stranger Things soundtrack ripped through the venue like a crack appearing from another dimension. Its sound was piercing yet electrifying.

‘Fool’, ‘Go Ahead’ and ‘Grid’ added funk and groove to the set, with Mike prancing around the stage performing in a vest top and pattern trousers. He just seemed to glide across the stage, with his sedative and elegant dancing which grabbed the audience as if he was controlling them.

‘My Body’ was another particular highlight with the crowd erupting into cheers when the opening bass riff was played. Mike Hadreas groaned stupendous over the erotic and creepy synths and bass lines. His vocals seeming to puncture the track.

His main set concluded with the lead single from his latest record, ‘Slip Away’. This added large touches of euphoria and joy with the crowd belting the lyrics back at Mike and his band. Strobe lights greeted the eyes of the joyful crowd as the crashing synth break swept in. It was a completely euphoric and enjoyable moment to see one of my favourite tracks of the year performed live.

The encore began with a soft and subtle start, ‘Alan’ was played to a crowd who were completely silent, watching Mike (who was alone on stage) perform a touching, and below track which will hit the toughest persons heart. It was a moment that everyone appreciated as Mike sang the lines “Im here, How weird”. The night was closed to fan favourite, glam rock, power ballad ‘Queen’, with its heavy drum led beats causing the crowd to erupt into cheers. The chiming pianos made a large impact throughout the track which served as a wonderful set closer.

Perfume Genius has not only provided us with one if the best albums of the year, but also with a sound that sticks to you forever. His gorgeous lyrics, and his effortless stage presence provided me with a night that will live long in the memory.

Perfume Genius played:

  • Otherside
  • Longpig
  • Fool
  • Wreath
  • Just Like Love
  • Go ahead
  • Valley
  • Normals Song
  • Dark Parts
  • Every Night
  • Bodys in Trouble
  • Grid
  • My Body
  • Run me through
  • Die 4 You
  • Slip Away
  • (Encoure)
  • Alan
  • Learning
  • Mr Paterson
  • Hood
  • Queen.

Words by Piran Aston

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