top of page



The Dome, February 29

FIRST, THE WEATHER REPORT. Damn it’s hot. Stinking. With a pea soup fug of humidity, a sweaty press of humanity, and absolutely no incentive to move. Except to indoors where all that is repeated, multiplied, but blasts of something from the stage – Chilled air? Cool distance? – disarms, disrobes, disinhibits.

Much like the action on the floor before Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands (both barely distinguishable as dark shapes behind fixed banks of squat dark shapes, swamped beneath the glow from giant, wrapping screens) the opening pair of Go and Do It Again are one body in blurred merging.

Five minutes, ten minutes in, you know it happened but you couldn’t say when their rhythmic patterns and sounds of cushioned collisions segued. I mean, did it, or did they really come as one? Likewise, the graphic and tonal shift on those screens, from vaulting, mathematical bodies to demonic horror, has become a reality that seems to have always been there. Like Scott Morrison’s career.

Along comes the pig face king, the crawling bugs scattering, the marching boys in purple and green turning into junior dervishes. They – we – operate in MAH and No Reason’s rubbery reverberations, in sound hard and solid but too balanced to be anything but pulling at the fringes of being too much, too loud.

The next peak is predicable, but no less effective for that. Hey Boy Hey Girl is a build and build to a shudder that blows out to a shake. Then repeat until horizontal turns vertical and the shake becomes a room-wide bounce. On its heels, Eve Of Destruction is a House shape reworked by more brittle tech into metallic machinery. It is an assault that accumulates, piling up floor by floor, and then crashes down like a collapsing building.

Swoon rises out of the rubble of Feel Like I Am Dreaming, more floating, more grand and then more interior and a virtual pause. Temptation, via New Order, is the escalator to Star Guitar picking up passengers until Star Guitar lifts off in a sea of squelch.

Airborne does not necessarily mean cruising though. For the next section it is more like riding air currents, inconsistent in quality rather than energy. The weakness of Chemical Brothers has always been those sections of sets that feel (smartly, for sure) constructed, the results modular, rather than organically emerging. And those moments remain, a case of nodding at their building prowess rather than losing yourself in the maze.

But you can use these periods for regrouping, preparing for the next elevation, holding back while the wide-eyed woman in front of you does the big fish/little fish and birds are released thing all through C-H-E-M-I-C-A-L. She’s not complaining; she’s flying.

Finally, Block Rockin’ Beats has her leaping off, not really to land until the raggedy patterns and precise lightings bolts of The Private Psychedelic Reel career off, scattering us.

Weather report, final: storm front passed, impact noticeable, damage minimal.




Chemical Brothers play Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong, March 2.



bottom of page