Kimbra Performs Sold Out Show At NYC’s Webster Hall For CMJ 2012

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Photo: E.J. Judge/CBS Digital

Photo: E.J. Judge/CBS Digital

Maria Bonello
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New Zealand electro-pop artist Kimbra, who you already know as Gotye’s female counterpart in his hit “Somebody That I Used To Know,” performed a sold out show at Webster Hall, NYC’s iconic nightclub, last night as a part of the 2012 CMJ Music Marathon. The artist went on stage at 9PM after her opening act, The Step Kids, amused the crowd with abstract art projections.

Mixing influences from George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, Bjork and Mars Volta, Kimbra’s musical style is caught between pop and classical genres giving some tracks a jazzy undertone.

The petite doll-like Kimbra wore a purple trimmed white frilly skirt and a top with huge shoulders. The skirt had a glitter green design circling the bottom of the garment. To top off her already outrageous outfit, she wore a purple straw hula skirt-esque article of clothing that draped over her huge cup sleeves. At one point, she removed the hula skirt to reveal a more feminine corset fitted purple and white striped sequin top.

To offset her flamboyant ensemble, Kimbra had a femme fatal hairstyle and light make-up – only her lips were a dark hue of purple.

Her costume, along with the colorfully patterned shirts of her band, matched the drapery that decorated the set. The embroidered in-appearance tapestry illustrated a colorful mystical forest scene of snakes coiling around trees splattered with glitter.

[Photos] Kimbra Performs @ Webster Hall

The US’s initial interest in the artist was sparked back in January, when a partially painted Kimbra collaborated with Gotye on the single, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The song was an instant hit and reached  #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Now doing it big on her own, this is Kimbra’s first time headlining a proper tour in the US in support of her debut LP Vows, that was released in her home country last year.

kimbra cmj 220 Kimbra Performs Sold Out Show At NYCs Webster Hall For CMJ 2012

Photo: E.J. Judge/CBS Digital

The first single off the album is “Settle Down,” an upbeat track with a do-whop flair. Kimbra asked the crowd for silence for the beginning of the song – the crowd obliged. But by the end the song developed into a powerful clap along.

Her manger Mark Richardson, former Independiente Records boss, who has worked with Jamiroquai, along with award-winning Australian composer, Francois Tetaz, who has worked with Gotye and Architecture In Helsinki, teamed up to produce the LP that was four-years in the making.

The men insisted that there was no rush to put out an album, forcing Kimbra to really reflect on the style and message that she wanted to convey to the world. She used fairytale films and surrealism paintings as inspiration during her creative process.

On a more impulsive note, the track “Warrior,” – which seemed to be a crowd favorite – was something she and former tourmate, Mark Foster of Foster the People and DJ A-Trak created on a whim while on tour. The Converse-sponsored single was released this past April and helped Kimbra break out of her slow paced techniques.

Kimbra delivered a high energy performance as she danced around the stage shaking a tambourine. Her catchy melodies and breathtaking vocals made for an amazing night.

She appeared to be genuinely enjoying herself as she interacted with the crowd and belted out lines with tons of emotion.

In fact, she was so in the zone that by the end of the performance she had dismantled her outfit. The purple lined white skirt fell off revealing a furry mess of blue straw – it looked like she was wearing a giant pom-pom. The singer mentioned that it was the first time on this tour that it had happened.

As Kimbra finished up and walked off the stage, her fans chanted for an encore… And well, when you’re in such high demand you give the people what they want!

Kimbra Setlist:

  • Limbo
  • Posse
  • Good Intent
  • Plain Gold Ring
  • Two Way
  • Marigold
  • Old Flame
  • Warrior
  • Settle Down
  • Something
  • Cameo Lover
  • Come Into My Head

Encore: 

  • Withdraw
  • Call Me

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-Maria Bonello, 92.3 NOW/NYC


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