Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 10 June 2018
The Cat Empire returned to Adelaide as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival to play some of their classic hits, all to the delight of their adoring audience.
Playing to a diverse crowd of all ages, The Cat Empire once again brought the house down as they filled the Festival Theatre with their genre-defying, high-energy show. With their music drawing influences from Latin-infused funk to reggae and even a little bit of rock, they sure do make it hard to stay in your seat.
All musicians within the band are spot-on performers which is unsurprising having had years of performing behind them, but it’s definitely the band’s signature horn section that, in many instances, steals the show. Although it doesn’t seem completely correct to describe someone as shredding on a trumpet, this seems like the most fitting description for the boys on brass.
The band’s stage presence is an accurate reflection of their very own unique genre of music, with not a stress in sight and instead big smiles and a casual, laidback demeanour. This energy is the perfect fit for the Cabaret Festival with a feeling of confidence and comfortableness key to performances within the genre.
The special difference between this and any other Cat Empire performance is that accompanying the band are a variety of exciting acts from this year’s Cabaret Festival. While the famed trumpet chorus of the hit song Fishies plays, a burlesque performer masterfully makes her way around the stage, seducing the audience with every twirl and a half-clothed man works his magic athletically juggling three bowler hats. The highlight, though, has to be the wacky, red-haired performer known as Captain Frodo, who’s body bends in ways that shouldn’t be humanly possible, all while balancing on a stand of trash cans.
The music was so infectiously funky that by the end of the show the audience literally could not stay in their seats as the theatre turned into a moving sea of bodies bouncing to the up-beat, Latin-inspired rhythm as lead singer, Felix Riebl, belted out Hello, Hello and the horn section blasted away.
The Cat Empire always give a fun and up-beat performance that gets the crowd grooving and this show was no exception!
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 4
One Night Only – season ended