The stage was set for what will probably be one of the must underestimated shows at this year’s Adelaide Festival. Iowa-born Mike Hadreas—alias Perfume Genius—oozed sex appeal and cool confidence in a dreamily executed performance last night at the Riverbank Palais. Like Grace Jones earlier last week, Perfume Genius completely won over his audience with his unique blend of indie rock and chamber pop.
The Riverbank Palais was the perfect setting, giving a window onto Adelaide’s arts precinct, which was lit up in all its 70s glory. Several times during the show Hadreas leaned over the railing to admire the outlook. Well, I imagine it was admiration. I was feeling a tiny amount of awe myself.
Hadreas’ performance was moving. His on-stage presence was magnetic, as he pulled every audience member in with his hypnotic dancing and laidback charm. Performing a backlog of songs from his four albums, Hadreas seemed to tie the different sounds he’s encompassed over the years into one consistent medley, and it flowed beautifully. Ending on Slip Away, he came back to perform six encore songs, building up from stripped back piano to the bombastic Queen.
Adelaide Festival scored more than they could have imagined in this performance, and have added another jewel to their crown with this magnificent display from Perfume Genius.
Reviewed by CJ McLean
One Night Only – Season ended