July 15th, 2017
VANCOUVER – The warm and inviting glow of pink lights cascaded over the stage at the Imperial this past Saturday, as fans calmly waited for the return of Perfume Genius. Currently on tour for his third album No Shape, singer Mike Hadreas gracefully took the stage surrounded by palm fronds, transforming the room into a desert oasis as they slowly wilted away in the heat.
Immediately the band soared into the album’s opener, “Otherside,” as a blinding white light shone intensely during the song’s thunderous piano arpeggios. Like a slinky, Hadreas arched his back, almost able to touch his head to the stage, before shooting back into an upright position for the next verse. The guy can wiggle! Contorting his body in ways only an elastic band can, Hadreas wormed his way around the stage as if Mick Jagger was dodging bullets in The Matrix.
The constant rumble of the rhythm section kept the walls of the Imperial reverberating, as tom-heavy drums and a distorted bassline introduced “Grid,” off of his 2014 album Too Bright. Juxtaposed by glistening synth melodies and Hadreas’ tender vocals, all elements rose together for a fierce finale that had the slender singer screaming. A definite highlight of the evening.
Throughout the show, a lone keyboard sat in the middle of the stage that was mostly neglected until the encore, where Hadreas treated the audience to a cover of Neil Young’s classic “Helpless.” The stripped back cover offered a glimpse into the artist’s past, alluding to the conception of his work as Perfume Genius. A skeleton in which he continues to expand upon, creating more lush and daring songs album to album.Imperial Theatre, Perfume Genius