Garage – 6/3/15
‘Untouched’ was that rare phenomenon where a pop song crossed boundaries. Pop fans loved it, metal fans loved it, hip hop fans, everyone. It featured on 2009’s Hook Me Up. Technically, The Veronicas have yet to release any new music in the UK since then. Their 2014 self-titled third album is available in certain territories (which means some people in attendance tonight have their hands on it because technology), but the UK release comes ten days after their show at the Garage.
So for over half of the setlist to be new material is an uphill struggle. The Veronicas are a lot of fun, but this type of fun involves knowing when to dance, knowing the choruses to sing, and being able to fill in the gaps when twins Jess and Lisa throw to the crowd to sing.
Familiar tunes like ‘Take Me On the Floor’ go down a storm, but for every crowd favourite there is a ‘Teenage Millionaire’ for people to wander to the bar. Add to this their reliance on backing tracks and the whole thing feels very cold and detached. It isn’t uncommon for pop performances to have backing tracks, especially for harmonies, but when you have two very talented singers, it feels like a cop out.
Jess suffers from an allergic reaction throughout the night, but on stripped down tracks ‘Everything I’m Not’ and ‘You Ruin Me’ (a track from the latest album people are familiar with) she and her sister sound raw and angelic. Strip away the pre-recorded vocals, get down to basics, let the sisters show off their pipes and wow. The fast paced ‘This Is How It Feels’ and megahit ‘Untouched’ do not compare to this subdued pair of intimate tracks that let The Veronicas show they don’t need gimmicks or assistance and they can damn well sing. It’s just a shame we didn’t get to hear more of that over the backing tracks.
Letting fans familiarise themselves with the new material would have helped. As long as they don’t leave it another six years to come back, there will be people waiting to sing along to stomper ‘Sanctified’ and the feel-good ‘If You Love Someone.’ An increased confidence in the vocal abilities of the sisters would elevate The Veronicas experience from an acceptable pop show to the most fun gig in town.
[Scott Wilson – @HeartofFire]