Antony and the Johnsons & the LSO - Barbican, 30 October 2008
Antony's shows are anything but showy. But there's always a keen sense of the theatrically appropriate. These photos tell only the end of the story. Antony performed most of his 90 minute set in darkness or something close to it, backlit by the feeble glow of the LSO's music stands. When the lights were turned up to full wattage towards the end for Everything Is New, it seemed almost an intrusion.
It was an intimate affair despite the size of the orchestra. There were glimpses of experimentation in the discordant whine of the strings underpinning Another World and the rumbling brass of River of Sorrow. But elsewhere Nico Muhly's orchestrations just ballasted the original chamber arrangements while adding little to their simple textures, both frame and cushion to Antony's wavery contralto.
There was just a little light relief - the audience giggled collectively in recognition as yet another exercise in sombre understatement turned out to be Beyonce's Crazy in Love.
set list: 'Mysteries Of Love' 'Christina's Farm' 'Cripple And The Starfish' 'For Today I Am A Boy' '(Fell In Love With A) Dead Boy' 'Kiss My Name' 'Everglade' 'Rapture' 'Ghost' 'Another World' 'Crazy In Love' 'Everything Is New' 'Her Eyes Are Underneath The Ground' 'River Of Sorrow'
This is the official video for Another World - not quite the same as the orchestral arrangement, which I preferred: