Making his way back to southern California on a rare club-date tour, Tricky played to an sold-out show at The Troubadour in Hollywood. The audience's excitement going into the show was palatable, with a sizable number of fans stranded on the outside the club, seeing if they could gain entrance. Feeling lucky to have gotten in to the show, may have been further pronounced by the multiple times I've seen Tricky & Co. play over the years.
The show started with Tricky grooving about the stage, while his female singer Francesca Belmont taking the main vocal role for the evening. Starting off the evening in a more Trip-Hop mood, the vocals osculated between Francesca on the more dreamy tunes and Tricky on the faster ones.
A few songs into the set; and with Tricky in classic Iggy Pop/sans-shirt style, a familiar riff started playing and Tricky busted out with Motorhead's "Ace of Spades." Pretty impressive I'd say, though it would have been nice to see him performing it. This , being the first point in the evening in which Tricky decided to invite the audience on the stage for a dance-party of sorts. Kind of cool, but a little early in the evening - a fun romp, nonetheless.
Playing a wide variety of tunes, he touched on early songs like "Karmacoma" from his interlude with Massive Attack. Most memorable being his latest single "Murder Weapon" from his new album Mixed Race, as well as "Council Estate" from the previous release Knowle West Boy.
As for the Troubadour itself, I can't say much favorable - other than it's a small place and had a good bar. Even from people who are not really visually conscious, I've had the lighting referred to as the equivalent of a light-bright set. Ok, Let's say a high-powered LED light-bright set - but still pretty poor - and that is when they were using any lighting at all. I do like dark ambient shows (check out: A Place to Bury Strangers or Mono), but that's usually accented with interesting lighting to at least silhouette the artist. Anyhow, marks for Tricky, not the venue.
Further on in the evening Tricky invited the audience on-stage again. I would have loved to feel this was spontaneous, it just didn't seem that way; hearing this is something thing they've been doing at other shows lately (from friends that have seen him this tour on previous dates). This did seem to detract from the vibe of the evening. It seemed to be another episode of Tricky's dance-party, though to be fair: everyone onstage seemed to be having a blast. This definitely had it's good merits of close interaction with the audience, but it kind of broke up the mood coming from the stage & must have been a bit invisible of a performance, for those not on-stage.
The show then continued with Francesca singing Tricky's Trip-Hop lullabies, as the audience was ushered from the stage. The band grooved along, as Tricky provided lyrical punctuation. Heading towards the last few songs; Tricky in the role of house-party host, moved into the audience.
En route to hanging with audience-peeps at the bar, he hugged nearly everyone he encountered on the way. This definitely made you want to hang with the warm-fuzzy performer Tricky; but also, to hope that the next tour has more of the mesmerizing vibe that he is famous for & again hopefully a better venue...
Words & Pics by Anon