Caribou's Dan Snaith | Credit: Joseph Okpako/WireImage

Caribou Review – Dreams Come True at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre

Caribou performed at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre on Tuesday, 13th December. David James Young reviews.

In late February 2020, Dan Snaith released Suddenly, his fifth album under the Caribou moniker. The album’s blissful mix of electronic sounds served as a bright white hope amid the darkness of the first Covid lockdown. As it played through our speakers and pulsed through the walls, we dreamt of once again experiencing something like this communally – a full room, blaring lights, sweaty bodies in a state of constant motion.

Caribou – ‘Home’

In this context, saying Caribou’s performance at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre was a dream come true is not some clichéd summary or PR sound bite. It’s a literal description and deserves to be celebrated as such.

Caribou’s first Sydney headline show in nearly eight years – following a memorable night in the Opera House Concert Hall circa 2015 – was a jubilant experience both onstage and in the audience. After easing in with the gentle ‘New Jade’ from Suddenly, Snaith set the controls for the heart of the dancefloor with three simple words to the audience: “Here we go.”

Moments later, he and his long-serving backing band launched into the project’s breakthrough single ‘Odessa’, which still hits in all the right places over a decade after its release. Transitioning into the title track of 2014’s Our Love, the visuals began to dazzle. Bright colours swiped across the stage in various shapes and sizes, contrasting with the shadows enshrouding the band members, and making it almost impossible to look away (save for when the strobe light would linger a little too long.)

Anyone who’s seen Caribou live before will be familiar with their intimate, close-quarters set-up. Snaith switched between synths and drums, playing on a kit that directly mirrored that of drummer Brad Weber. Guitarist Ryan Smith was stationed to Snaith’s left and to his right was bassist John Schmersal, who accompanied Snaith on vocals.

Rather than spreading out across the stage, the quartet were locked in at the centre – reflective not just of their uniform nature, but also the uncanny synchronicity evinced in each extensive musical passage.

‘Sun’, a standout of 2010’s Swim, shines even brighter in the live environment. Weber unleashed bounding beats and hammering fills, with Snaith adding some of his own for good measure. The false ending and reprise sucker punched the crowd, which was all too happy to resume its incessant movement.

At its conclusion, Snaith turned to the audience almost in disbelief at the rapturous reception he and the band received. Truly, can you blame us?

As the drum beat of Caribou’s signature song ‘Can’t Do Without You’ kicked in at the close of the encore, the Enmore audience took its last chance to dance very, very seriously. It felt like the entire room was revelling in the fact this gig was even happening given it felt nigh-on impossible just one year ago.

Further Reading

Meredith Music Festival Review – Doofsticks, Neapolitan Disco and Pop Royalty

Caribou Releases Puppy-Filled Video For New Single ‘You Can Do It’

Redditors Have Selected ‘Random Access Memories’ As The Best Electronic Album Of The 2010s

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