Beatburger was described on
its flyer as deep fried electronic beats and visuals with three video
walls. The imagery was all lo-fi pixel art. I had never heard of Supermarket,
who were presenting Beatburger as their third consecutive Adelaide Fringe
show, nor the support act Atomitek. So naturally, I was intrigued.
Beatburger was held on Saturday,
20 February 2010 at the new pop-up bar Arcade Lane in Adelaide. An empty,
abandoned cinema provided the actual venue for the show, fresh with
a lick of paint over the raised ledges where the chairs were once bolted
to the floor. The doors opened at about 10:30pm and a small crowd started
to gather and take seats on the levels.
The party got started shortly
after we arrived and it was refreshing, and pleasing for the band no
doubt, to see people steadily stream through the door throughout the
first half of the show. The crowd grew to a decent size and I felt were
really engaged in the show and gave their appreciation to the artists.
As the night was billed as
both audio and visual show, the room was decked out with three projectors
lighting up giant video on the walls of the cinema. The projection behind
the artists was perfectly placed to fit across the back of the performance
space without restricting the view of either the video itself or the
Supermarket started first with
an impressive set of edgy electronica vibes, solid electro dance beats
and interesting live additions over the backing tracks by Dan on synths,
a scratch pad and an accordion. The other half of Supermarket is VJ
Emma. Not long into the set, Supermarket suffered some technical problems
with the video which put them out of action for about 10 minutes. However
I was hugely impressed by their professionalism during what is every
electronic artist’s worst nightmare. The crowd was respectful and
once the party got started again the hitch was easily forgotten.
I found the visual aspect of
Supermarket’s performance captivating and enjoyable to watch. While
Dan had announced that Emma would be playing live video to the music,
it was hard to gauge the level of this from my perspective. I couldn’t
tell if the video was being manipulated on the spot, or was running
in segments of various lengths that were pre-programmed. I have no reason
to doubt the validity of her performance, which I thought was of high
standard, it was just hard to truly understand the mechanics of it.
The videos ranged over three
walls, and while this was effective to create a larger visual landscape
and variety, one wall was brick and the images were lost slightly on
this surface. The image was a mix of pixilated animation, home video
with effects and video samples as diverse as the Australian outback
to ninjas. The video aspect of the night was a brilliant compliment
to Dan’s engaging beats and the whole show came off as a well crafted
Supermarket were followed by
Atomitek in their first live show. My immediate impression was of that
these guys had too much of a professional approach not to have played
live before. They had quite a decent set up of gear with three guys
across the stage on various keys and laptops, and a female vocalist
up front. Again it was hard to gauge exactly the level of manipulation
behind the visual complement of Atomitek’s performance, and again
it didn’t really matter because the images were engaging and markedly
different from those of Supermarket. Atomitek’s female vocalist provided
another visual focus point in addition to the video and added a complimentary
layer of vocals that brought out more of a club sound. Atomitek definitely
gave a dancier electronic feel to Beatburger, and after some initial
hesitation the crowd made its way to the dance floor.
I found Beatburger to be a
really fantastic mix of catchy synthesizers and sample based tunes with
an amazing array of visual imagery. I look forward to seeing both bands
Beatburger will be held
again in Adelaide on 13 March 2010, tickets available from Fringetix.
Photos by Selena Battersby and used with permission.