I initially got in touch with Wally (Gotye) via a Twitter conversation about Bruce Mutard, one of Australia's best Graphic Novelists. I explained that I was working on 'Melburbia' and he was kind enough to show his interest in seeing it. We also established that we'd be in New York at the same time. Wally raised my offer of a beer and a quick catchup to an invitation to his show at Radio City Music Hall and a meetup afterward. A very generous offer that I was more than happy to oblige.
As thanks for his invitation, I created this poster of Wally and a visual timeline of his career over the past five or so years. I started this one in Toronto, a beautiful place for getting some uninterrupted work done. The Toronto International Film Festival was on so the paparazzi were following Rachel McAdams instead of me for once which was refreshing.
I continued the poster in Buffalo, upstate New York at my great Aunt and Uncle's house. After traveling for two and a half months, I really grew an appreciation for home cooked meals, my own room and freshly cleaned clothes. I had to leave before I got too used to it :P But I am incredibly grateful for their hospitality. They hadn't seen me since I was three years old but they treated me like a son. This environment gave me the chance to finish the poster.
The venue, performance and visuals were astounding. Gotye's show was completely sold out and for good reason. His support acts Jonti and Missy Higgins warmed the crowd up with their own brands of music. I'm not the biggest patriot but it was great to see Australian musicians bringing that kind of crowd overseas.
Wally switched instruments and stage positions like a Cheshire cat, you'd need to spot him after each lights out. Though we knew he was the main man, his entire ensemble had a great collaborative vibe. There wasn't really a sense of lead singer and band.
The animations and visuals, however, were an enormous highlight. Once again, Gotye utilized mostly Australian artists and designers in their production. Each one was more obscure and hypnotic than the last. I highly recommend watching some of them on the Gotye Youtube Page though it really is only a taste of experiencing it live at one of the most electrifying theaters in the world.
We finally met face to face after the show where I gave him the poster and spoke a little bit about the important things in life. Stuff like Tim and Eric, my blog and how my name could be confused for a Meta piece of Meat. For someone who's on top of the world, he's pretty grounded. From what I gathered, he's loved the ride but he's looking forward to chilling out for a bit and getting some new stuff out there in his own time.
Wally and Chris, thank you so much for inviting me to come along, the show was genuinely great and I look forward to seeing what's next.