The raven-haired songstress from New Zealand, Kimbra Lee Johnson, is well-known for her collaboration with Gotye on the song, ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’, but is a talented and accomplished musician in her own right. Stopping by The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco this past Tuesday, February 13th, Kimbra kicked her set off with ‘Version of Me’, a new track from her forthcoming album, ‘Primal Heart’, and then delved into hits off of her first two albums with ‘Human’, ‘Settle Down’, and ‘Top of the World’, along with some deeper cuts.
The statuesque vocalist strutted around the stage, sporting a dress that served as both regal attire and projection surface, with live visuals washing over her and her set of backdrops. Live band members performed behind the backdrops, caged in mesh-covered cubes, sporadically visible as the imagery shifted.
Rather than simply playing over static backing tracks, Kimbra manipulated and tweaked the beats and synths of her songs using a mad scientist’s array of MIDI controllers and synths onstage, swished her hair, and danced in front of her projection screens in her platform boots.
The Rhode Island indie rock act Arc Iris opened the night, with vocalist Jocie Adams making her appearance onstage clad in a shiny suit with articulated wings, then jamming on both a guitar and keys. Keyboardist Zach Miller danced in step her with her, wielding a keytar for their funky introduction, while drummer Ray Belli kept the beat going.