First published on 30 May 2012.
Richard Pike, Laurence Pike and Dave Miller make up PVT, an experimental rock band based in Sydney and London. As part of the Vivid LIVE festival, the three sometime expats performed at the Opera House in what turned out to be a pretty amazing convergence of light and sound – Vivid-style.
PVT have really developed their sound and their newer material is well-suited to the Opera Theatre. Manic drums and electronica were complemented by subtler and more spacious soundscapes. The horn section added gravitas for newer songs, giving them more emotional heft.
‘Didn’t I Furious’ was welcomed with upraised arms and yells. The driving songs from O Soundtrack My Heart have always been crowd-pleasers. In the Opera Theatre, searing sequencers, distorted basslines and exceptional drumming made for a brilliant live experience.
An energetic rendition of ‘Light Up Bright Fires’ was both uplifting and bass-heavy. Hovering between Radiohead-esque highs and sounds out of a sci-fi laser shootout, it pumps on the live stage.
Oh, did we mention the light show? Well, now we will: it was epic. Moods were created with dazzling strobes, coloured filters and smoke. Fade-ins as well as other subtle lighting effects highlighted a depth in production rarely seen in gigs outside a stadium. It was obviously a light show designed to Vivid Sydney standards. It met them.
The crowd was unusually stationery, though, save for all the head-bobbing. Without a mosh pit it was an unusually civil affair. (All your reviewer’s attempts at an Opera Theatre mosh were, unfortunately, failures).
PVT have a huge rep as a live band, and they ensured it’s likely to stay that way for some time. We hope they bring the lights to the next gig we find them at.
PVT played the Opera House as part of Vivid LIVE Fri May 25.