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Shapeshifter - Live at the Forum, Melbourne - 29/10/2011

01 Nov 2011 // A review by sidvicious

Shapeshifter represents New Zealand to me – festivals, trips to the Coromandel with friends, New Years, Big Day Out, beaches and beer. Hearing Bring Change can, in an instant, remind me of everything I love and miss about New Zealand; they’ve been the soundtrack to years and years worth of summers. So, as you can imagine, I was somewhat apprehensive about seeing them perform in my new hometown of Melbourne. How would a group that is so intrinsically ‘New Zealand’ fare in the land of New Zealanders’ most natural enemy?

Arriving in the nick of time (everything starts so early over here), I entered the breathtaking Forum (think St James-meets-The Civic) in downtown Melbourne just as the beginning notes of Dutchies filled the near-capacity venue. With that familiar heart altering sound of P-Diggs welcoming me to the ride and advising me to ‘hold on’, I decided that I would put the locality aside and believe that Shapeshifter’s live magic was strong enough to convince me that it knows no boundaries – and they undoubtedly did just that.   

It’s hard to deny the fact that the show had a very different vibe from what I’m used to – I’ve never seen Shapeshifter live in an indoor venue, you know, with four walls and a roof. But the power of the performance didn’t suffer a second for it. P-Diggs, as always, was a spectacle. Nothing warms my heart like seeing him belting out the beautiful music his voice was genetically designed to sing.  He never fails to bring that intense energy to the stage, and tonight was no exception. The opening few “beeps” to announce the beginning of Electric Dream sent the crowd into fits, and after that, the excitement seemed to be uncontainable.

While P-Diggs will always be the star of any Shapeshifter show, Nick Robinson and Sam Trevethick aka the guys on the keyboards, brought a contagious enthusiasm to the stage which was thrilling to watch. Anyone who so obviously loves performing their music as much as I love watching it deserves all the praise I can give. It was Shapeshifter at its finest, and oh how fine that can be. The beat, the creative synth, the easy flow, the constant contrasts, the feeling and the sentiment. This seems like a cop out for a reviewer, but it really does seem beyond words.

The boys did seem to say “this is our last song” an awful lot during the last 45 minutes of the show. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good encore as much as the next person, but when it gets to encore song number nine, I do start getting a bit antsy. I know it can create a certain energy within a crowd to keep them on their toes, but as soon as I predict a show is winding down, I start planning my escape route. It’s probably because I’m a control freak, but I don’t like being lied to about when a show is ending – it takes away from my appreciation when I’m constantly worried about whether this really is the last song. But if my only complaint is that a show was slightly too long, then it really does seem that I’m reaching at straws.


About Shapeshifter

Record-breaking New Zealand tours, scene-setting appearances at festivals like Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Big Day Out and Parklife, sold-out performances across Europe, multiple music awards, four EPs and five LPs — three with platinum sales — and an army of fans who return to relive the experience time and time again.

These are just some of Shapeshifter’s towering achievements.

The five-strong lineup of PDigsss (vocals), Sam Trevethick (guitar/synths/sampler), Dan McGruer (synths/sampler), Nick Robinson (bass/synths) and Darren Mathiassen (drums) have created their very own heavy soul; a stadium-sized sound which adds layers of drum & bass, jazz, funk, rock and electronica to solid bass culture foundations.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Shapeshifter


Year: 2021
Type: Album
Year: 2016
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Year: 2013
Type: Album
System Remix
Year: 2011
Type: Album
The System Is A Vampire
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Shapeshifter Live
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Year: 2006
Type: Album
Riddim Wise
Year: 2004
Type: Album
Year: 2003
Type: EP
Been Missing / Relocator
Year: 2003
Type: EP
Year: 2001
Type: EP
Year: 2001
Type: Album

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