Wow, what a start to The Workshop, the Adelaide Festival’s latest music space. It is decorated with animals behind the band as well as hung from the ceiling and we were told they were not a product of taxidermy. Tonight The Parov Stelar Band put on a masterclass in electro-swing music and certainly got the crowd dancing. The band was phenomenal and full of energy all night.
The band performs to thousands in Europe and last performed at Womadelaide as headliners in 2017. Their sound is unique and it mixes many different genres and rhythms. The pounding beat of the drummer is at the heart of their sound and when mixed with guitar and brass it is hard to watch them without dancing.
They played many of their hits tonight. The first song Don’t You Forget from their current album was the perfect start to the night and was a duet between Lee Anduze and their newest member Elena Karafizi. Elena is a great addition to the band and she is fresh, young and has an amazing voice and did not let her moon boot stop her jumping around the stage.
Elena and the band then performed two very early songs Clap Your Hands and Catgroove which set the tone for the night and both songs would have been the perfect fit for the Great Gatsby soundtrack with its mix between the 1920s and modern music. The rest of the band is guitarist Michael Wittner, saxophonist Sebastian Grimus, trumpeter Marc Osterer, trombonist Jacky Mayr and drummer Willie Larsson Jr and the next three songs were the wonderful instrumentals The Comeback, Berlin Shuffle and Django’s Revenge and they really highlighted the musical prowess of this fun and energetic band.
On the song Gringo Marc gave us a fantastic Mexican inspired solo and then he gestured to the Jungle themed room and said, “Welcome to the Jungle” The song The Burning Spider was my song of the night. The original song has sampled vocals from the late Lightnin’ Hopkins but Lee made it his own and the way the song slowly built up its pace to a crescendo was spectacular.
Elena came back on stage for the groovy Grandpa’s Groove and The Mojo Radio Gang. The last song before the encore was All Night from their 2012 break out album The Princess. During the encore, Lee sang the Mambo Rap which is a departure from their normal sound but still, the crowd loved it. The last song of the night was the ultra-cool Booty Swing and although we cheered for more that was it for tonight. I can not wait to see other great bands at this venue for the Festival.
Adelaide Festival Review By Richard De Pizzol