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SXSW 2006: Goldfrapp - Austin Music Hall (Austin, TX) - Thursday, March 16, 2006

27 March 2006

I couldn’t have asked for a better first show at South-by-Southwest. The weather in Austin was balmy yet cool, and the venue, tucked down by the waterfront away from the crowds, was the perfect space for GOLDFRAPP to walk out into velvet. Around 11:30 PM, once the roadies had set up all the synths, ALISON GOLDFRAPP strutted onstage, lights gleaming bright white all around, as her ace live band began to play the seductive “Tiptoe.”

Foxy as ever, Ms. Goldfrapp wore silver platforms (very DAVID BOWIE), tight blue jeans, and a black tank-top with a delicious hot pink capelet on top. While there were no dancing girls at this show and the whole atmosphere was a bit less dramatic than its performance at the Nokia Theatre last December, the Austin Music Hall was still filled with an electric energy as the band played a dynamic version of “Train,” followed by the slinky “Slide In” and the ethereal “Fly Me Away.”

Next came my favorite stomper off Supernature, “Satin Chic”—a perfectly torrid concoction of electric T. REX glam sex excess, with snotty “La’s” throughout. Goldfrapp’s attention to detail is exacting, so the white star-shaped tambourine Alison used during the song was perfect. The band then played “Beautiful,” where I noticed that part of Alison’s “Ooohs” share some similarities with DONNA SUMMER’s orgasmic moaning in the disco classic “Love To Love You Baby.”

Before Goldfrapp could launch into the next song, someone in the audience yelled out, “White Horse!” and, what do you know, it turned out to be the next song [ Perhaps that someone had taken a gander at the set list? -ed.]. Keyboardist ANGIE POLLACK stopped her usual headbanging on the side of the stage, strapped on the Keytar and stood next to Alison, who was stomping like a pretty pony while tossing her blonde mane. “Ooh La La” then ended the set with a bang, but it was only a few minutes until the band returned for the encore—the lovely ”#1” followed by a climactic “Strict Machine.” As Alison finished the song, with the band playing full force behind her, she was smiling more broadly than her cool demeanor usually allows. “F***, I was really enjoying it!” she exclaimed when the music stopped, and from the enthusiastic cheers that followed, it was clear that everyone else in the venue was too.