Super furry animals with CEX at the Opera House, April 20. Tickets: $16. Attendance: 850 (sold out). Rating: NN Rating: NNNNN
It took laptop rapper Cex just two lame throwdowns to get the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd at the Opera House Saturday to start checking their watches. Regrettably, there would be 60 more painful minutes of the geeky MC stumbling through lame freestyles about samurai warriors and video games.
That was just the beginning of the patience-testing tedium. There was another full hour of some fool spinning sleep-inducing joints projected on two big screens hung above the stage as if to make sure everyone could see his embarrassingly limited mixing skills.
After all that rubbish, the sighs of relief that greeted the Super Furry Animals nearly drowned out the frantic cheers as the screen images changed to an animated Kama Sutra.
What at first appeared to be colourful eye-candy took on a new significance when it became apparent that the images shifted perfectly in sync with the Furries' music. Words flashed on the screen at precisely the moment they left the open mouth of Super Furry frontman Gruff Rhys, and the video clip of Ozzy Osborne showed him head-banging right on the beat.
The idea likely was that the added visual component would make up for what the Furries lack in natural charisma.
Since they typically stand stiffly onstage looking down at their instruments, they had to try something, but playing along to projected images isn't the best solution. Working to a click-track minimizes the improvisational bursts and unexpected turns that make their performances exciting.
Funnily enough, in trying to spice up their act, they've just made it more boring.