Jac and I went to the Massive Attack concert in Kings Park, Perth on 12 March. We met up with my sister Juji and her boyfriend Jay (Juji and I had bought the tickets for the concert together) and we shared a lovely picnic on the grass. I much prefer the more relaxed outdoor concert venues like Kings Park with unassigned seating than auditoriums or worse, stadiums, which I think are just too large for a comfortable, relaxed experience. At Kings Park, you just pick a spot in front of the stage area – there’s a pond between the audience and the stage – and then just spread your rug/blanket on the grass, kick off your shoes and get comfy. You can eat your picnic dinner or buy food/drinks from one of stalls nearby and then as the sun sets, just sit or lay back to enjoy the show. Juji and Jay had friends who also went to the concert, and they’d wander over and hang out for a while, then go back to their own rugs.
We shared a bag of Twiggy sticks (a kind of salami stick, yummy and moreish – we buy them from the supermarket, and you can get mild or hot ones).
This was the messiest picnic ever! :D As you can see, we also had corn chips, which we dipped into creamy capsicum dip; Cadbury chocolate, Mersey Valley cheese, and mini Oreos, which I couldn’t stop eating once I got started. In one of the plastic bags Jac and I had packed plastic plates and cutlery, napkins and KFC “refresher towel” napkins. We never use all the refresher towels/napkins we get when we buy KFC, and we always save them to take along to picnics – they’re so handy, especially when there are messy yummy chicken wings involved. We save all the junk food franchise cutlery, napkins, salt and pepper, jam and sauce sachets too, for such occasions. :)
It was really interesting seeing what other people were eating – I saw Japanese takeaway including sushi and chicken katsu and rice, eaten with chopsticks out of takeaway bowls, all kinds of pizza including calzone, I even saw friends huddled over a big quiche cut into lovely big slices, chicken and chips/fish and chips (bought from one of the stalls at the venue – boy, the hot chips smelled fantastic!), sandwiches, antipasto platters with olives, feta, cold meats… everyone looked like they were having a great time. It was a really relaxed, happy atmosphere.
The tale of the thieving kookaburra
Picture this: we were all sitting in a row, me on the right, then Jac, Jay, Juji and one of Juji and Jay’s mates T, who had come over and was enjoying a chicken wing. Suddenly, a kookaburra flew low and straight across all of us as we sat there – I felt its wings flapping against my shoulder as it passed – and then T said, “That bird took my chicken wing!” The kookaburra had seen the chicken wing in his hand and swooped low, grabbed it and just kept flying! Jac said she felt the bird’s wings too and Juji said she felt the flutter of its wings as it passed her face – if she’d chosen that exact moment to lean forward just a little more it might have flown straight into her face! The look on T’s face was priceless (sorry, T! :))
If you don’t know what they look like, here’s a picture of a kookaburra I took on holiday last year. Kookaburras love to eat meat, so I’m not surprised it stole the chicken wing. I hope this kookaburra likes curry. :P
Have you ever had food stolen by a bird or another animal?
As the sun set and it got closer to concert-starting time, the big display screens switched to the cover image from Massive Attack’s latest album, Heligoland. We tidied up and got ready for the concert to start.
I’m not going to attempt to write an actual concert review, as I don’t think I’m any good at writing about music. I really enjoyed the concert. Jac and I have been fans of Massive Attack for years, and it was great to see such a range of people, all fans, all gathered together to enjoy the night. If you just look at Juji and me, there’s an age difference of 11 years between us (I’m older) – there was also quite an age range among the Massive Attack fans.
The support act was Martina Topley-Bird. She’s sung on a number of album tracks for the band, and she came out to do vocals for some of the songs during the actual concert, including Teardrop. The support act was fine, but I think we were all keen for Massive Attack to get out onto the stage.
The two main Massive Attack guys Robert Del Naja and Grantley “Grant” Marshall were great. It was awesome that Horace Andy, who has sung on a number of songs with the band over the years, was touring with the band. He has such a distinctive voice – the songs wouldn’t sound right if he wasn’t there to sing them. In the photo below, left to right: Robert Del Naja, Horace Andy, Grantley “Grant” Marshall.
I love Grant’s low, rumbling voice and casual swagger (on the right again, in the photo below). Even when he’s silent and just standing there, all tall and swaying, he looks so cool. (Do I sound like a fan? Well I am! :P)
My only (minor) disappointment was they didn’t perform “Protection”. But I guess they didn’t have a suitable substitute for Tracey Thorn for the vocals, which again are the most distinctive, memorable feature of the song. It was an awesome concert, though!
Massive Attack concert videos
I recorded some video of the concert, using my trusty Panasonic TZ3 camera (my usual food blogging camera). I didn’t zoom in very far because I wanted to include the backdrop/lightshow – I really enjoyed the colourful visual aspects of the show. One annoying thing about the camera is once you’re recording video, you can’t actually change the zoom distance – so you basically have to pick your distance before you start recording.
Epileptic seizure warning
I’m no expert on what can cause an epileptic seizure and I don’t know if these videos could affect photosensitive people in that way – but just being cautious, I’ve included a warning on the videos that include rapidly flashing lights. All the videos do include some kind of flashing or moving lights/visual display in the background.
The videos include:
- United Snakes (06:52) – the opening track of the concert. One of my favourite features of this song was the surprise appearance of the Kings Park ducks. :)
- Teardrop (04:29) – Vocals by Martina Topley-Bird (originally Elizabeth Fraser on the album track).
- Inertia Creeps (05:56) It would’ve been fun to be given the task of coming up with the headlines that flash across the background during this song – presumably whoever did them just looked at that week’s Australian/Western Australian media. :)
- Unfinished Sympathy (04:25) – Jac’s all-time favourite Massive Attack song. Vocals by Deborah Miller (originally Shara Nelson on the album track). Some people stood up and danced, as you’ll see in the video. You may also hear some of the audience singing along (faintly).
- Karmacoma (07:16) – The final encore song. The band and supporting singers all come out to take their bows at the end of this video.
I recorded ten videos in total. I know some of my readers and friends are big Massive Attack fans, so these are especially for you – enjoy!
Jac asked me if I think I enjoyed the concert less because I was concentrating on recording. I’ve thought about this – I enjoy recording video and I’ve re-watched these videos heaps of times since the concert, so to me, this only adds to my enjoyment of the whole experience (and in fact, it allows me to prolong the enjoyment!). As a fan of the band I’m absolutely chuffed I can continue supporting the band by buying their CDs and go to watch them in concert – and it’s awesome that we got the chance to watch them perform live here in Perth. And of course, nothing beats being there, taking in the whole experience and the amazing atmosphere. These videos capture only a fraction of what it was like being there. You really had to be there to physically feel the drums thumping through your whole body! Another advantage of being at Kings Park sitting on a grassy slope was that I was able to hold my camera up balanced on my knees and look over it to watch the concert with my eyes rather than through the camera display – it was all good. :)