Ariel Pink at the Recital Centre

Ariel Pink has been creeping into many conversations lately for his antics and outspoken ridicules. 

The Los Angeles raised singer and songwriter — who’s remarked just as highly for his theatrical on-stage performances as his enchanting lo-fi creations — performed just last night at our world-class Recital Centre, and the show was nothing short of kooky. Arguably the show could have been the most anticipated event of Melbourne Music Week, and we walked in collectively with love-bound appreciation for his work.

The Recital Centre, Melbourne’s headquarters of architectural-awe and acoustic perfection, poses as an interesting venue choice given the nature of Pink’s creations. It’s fair to think that Pink’s sound would best be appreciated in a dingy basement club with an abundance of smoke, lasers and sweat — yes I attended his last show at Hugs and Kisses a few years back which provided just this. Although that didn’t stop the crowd from acting as such; a bursting audience member pops from his seat screaming “Can we stand yet Ariel?” to which Pink responded, “I don’t give a shit”, in his expected, expressive manner.

We rose from our seats and danced together as Pink and his captivating band — all of different outfits and focal strengths — performed his latest record Dedicated To Bobby Jameson. The venue lit up with his nostalgic-yet-unheard sound; and it is then which we saw exactly why The Recital Centre was an optimal choice of chamber.

The band worked through the album in an enamouring set which explored all bounds of performance. Theatre is an obvious element to his performing style, hosting animated expressions and plot-hints throughout. Like Pink continuously knocking instruments from their stands without a sole respite. Although enjoyable this time around, his performing side sparked much interest in the press to which he recently admitted he “overdid” and in turn “managed to offend” with his on-stage antics. It is this instance we cannot shake from our thoughts.

Nevertheless, the performance was strong. Pink breaks in with ‘Another Weekend’, ‘Time To Live’, ‘Revenge Of The Iceman’and ‘Feels Like Heaven’. He amply performed the entire album, creating power, statement and definitely an eruption of thoughts within his fans. The band signalled the performance’s end with the dreamy ‘Baby’as we swayed together until Pink bid us goodnight. As hoped, Pink returned and blasted ‘Round and Round’ to please the crowd.

Pink’s performance was definitely an experimental experience. It was interesting to gather how his fans now appreciate his music and self. There’s no denying that the allegations towards Pink were questionable, although, with a very strong performance I cannot fault, I’m still left wondering myself on how I feel about Ariel Pink.

Highlight: ‘Another Weekend’

Low-light: Not being able to see Ariel's face

Crowd favourite: ‘Round and Round’