Bonobo: Sage Gateshead – live review
3rd March 2017
An incredible and spellbinding set from Simon Green and his band, tonight the normally very conservative Sage is turned into a rave!
Tonight there isn’t a spare seat in the house as Bonobo gets ready to take to the stage. However, we can initially only dwell on what impact Simon Green and his band will have on an all seated venue, his wide ranging brand of music covers so much musical ground. All of which seems too upbeat for somewhere that is famed for hosting internationally renowned orchestras.
Any fears are quickly allayed and whilst it is a gentle start as Bonobo and the band hit their stride, something extraordinary befalls the Sage. The crowd disregard their seats as the venue is turned into a rave, the floor in front of us becomes a see of dancing bodies as everyone is tirelessly throwing shapes. The huge screens behind the band become mesmerising, the huge tracks enthusing the packed crowd.
Maintaining such intensity and excitement over a sustained period of time, particularly when there is the option of a seat is definitely a tall order. One that Bonobo and the band seem to traverse effortlessly, with each track blending perfectly the relentless thundering bass that underpins the tracks preserves the crowd’s enthusiasm. Whilst there is a general fervour from the crowd, there are a number of highlights.
Particularly earlier tracks like We Could Forever and Cirrus invoke astoundingly passionate reactions from the crowd, you’d easily be forgiven for believing you were in a club at 3:00am. Cirrus is an exceptional highlight, its instantly recognisable beat provokes a massive reaction. The euphoric crowd reaction is incredible, in spite of the lack of communication from the stage Bonobo leave the music to do the talking.
Whilst older tracks are greeted with euphoria, similar fervent reactions are afforded to tracks from Migration. With No Reason and Kerala proving to be the most popular on this occasion, the jubilant atmosphere is exquisitely impressive throughout though. For a venue that usually lacks atmosphere, tonight it is completely turned on its head – there is a real passion.
The whole building is feeding off the excitement, it couldn’t be any different to a normal show in the Sage. That said the reason for this is all down to Bonobo, an energetic genre defying set of the highest order, every track benefitting from the exceptional sound couple that with the incredible production and it makes for a breath-taking evening.
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