The Fleet Foxes feature elsewhere in Review this week also contains a selection of the acts that will be joining them on the bill of this year’s Vivid Live music program from May 26. By way of celebrating the breadth and depth of music on offer — 400 shows all across Sydney — organisers of the Vivid Music program hosted a curious affair called Vivid Music Behind the Scenes on Tuesday evening, to which your correspondent trundled along in the hope of learning something about what goes on in the brains of those who put together such an event. What transpired, however, in front of 25 or so journalists, many of them flown in from interstate to witness the, er, spectacle, went way beyond expectations. It’s difficult to explain, but it involved visiting five venues connected to the festival, on foot or by coach, the latter complete with motivational commentator, who took it upon herself to conduct an affirmation ceremony, to help us all connect, somewhere between Darlinghurst and Redfern. “I will support all others around me,” she called down the microphone. “I will support all others around me,” responded not so many of the press pack. By then, however, seasoned hacks such as oneself were beginning to wonder if they had been taken for a ride more in a metaphorical sense. Perhaps it was the opening scene in the upper reaches of the Kings Cross Hotel, where Vivid Sydney creative director Ignatious Jones pontificated at length, not least on the joys of musical theatre, against the backdrop of red velvet curtains that gave the experience a David Lynchian veneer and unease. A tour of an ex-brothel full of actors, acting as if it were still a functioning knocking shop, quickly followed, causing the press pack, perhaps for a variety of reasons, further anxiety. An army of music journos of both sexes suddenly cast as the unwitting employees of a strict and flamboyant madame (from the cast of a Vivid cabaret show called The Glittering Mile) studied the floor with great enthusiasm. More venues, bus rides and artistes from the program, thrust before the smallest and most bemused audience of their careers, came and went. Only when the media mob arrived at the final destination, a bespoke wine establishment and music venue, did a flicker of comfort begin to appear across their collective chops.
You Am I is touring Australia from July