On March 18, the Israeli female-fronted art-rock band Eatliz put on a fabulous show at Hidden Agenda, Hong Kong, as the second stop of the band’s first tour in China. As you may expect, the vocalist would always stand out from other bandmates in a female-fronted band. And so as Eatliz: when Lee Triffon, the charming female vocalist, came onto the stage, the audience just couldn’t take their eyes off her. Other than the great performance by Eatliz, the opening set by Turtle Giants from Macau and the unexpected police inspection in the middle of show were certainly other highlights of the night.
Overall speaking, the gig was an 8 out of 10 — one point off for the unreasonable police inspection and the other for the bounce-back of the stereo system. But sometimes you just can’t ask for technical perfection for an underground venue. The crowd was good — loose enough that it didn’t feel like you were in a headbanging metal gig; and yet not too loose that you could still feel the intensity within the crowd. It was difficult to find a single person in the audience who wasn’t dancing or shaking along with the beats. The stage was frankly too small for a six-piece band to perform, and the headroom was way too low for a five-feet-ten person to stand on stage. You could see Triffon playing with the beam above her head while she danced. However, the small space did help heating up the atmosphere and tightening the bond within the band.
The set by Eatliz was only about an hour long. I couldn’t help but wonder why they created such a short setlist when they had three albums’ materials to choose from. They had selected songs from all of their previous albums (“Violently Delicate”, “Delicately Violent”, “Teasing Nature”) plus one new song — “Big Phoney Eyes”, which will be featured in their upcoming album. The crowd’s reaction towards the new material was pretty good. It was arranged in the signature Eatliz formula . Personally, I am expecting a great video of “Big Phoney Eyes”, since the band has been known for making awesome videos for their songs.
In terms of performance, the whole band seemed to cooperate flawlessly. Triffon was a charming frontwoman. Dressed in a bodysuit, high-waist leather pants and 5-inch high heels, Triffon looked wonderful under the limelight. Apart from her beauty, she was definitely a talented vocalist. The high-low-high pitch was definitely not easy to achieve, especially in a live show, but never missing a beat or a note during her performance, Triffon sounded just the same as the studio version, only with more emotion and passion. She also always tried to interact with the crowd with her singing and dancing from the stage. Most of the time, other band members were concentrated on playing their own instruments. They sometimes jumped and headbanged together, from which you could tell they were truly having fun on stage. Their beats and the riffs were impeccable; you could easily notice that the band had put so much effort in the composition and arrangement. They had fused some Israeli musical arrangement into their music, and it was amazing to hear such “Middle-Eastern notes” being played live with the Western guitar and drums. Last time I was amazed by such Western-Eastern musical fusion was seeing the psychedelic Brit Pop band Kula Shaker.
As for the Turtle Giants, they had put on a 1-hour set before Eatliz, which was a bit too long for an opening act. They had covered songs ranging from post-rock to alt and emoish-punk. One thing to note was they picked up quite quickly after the police intrusion — at 8:30pm, a team of 20 policemen and one fireman rushed into the venue for a “fire-service inspection“, which was an unusual practice in Hong Kong. After the “30-minute-inspection”, nobody was arrested, and the police force left under the flashlight of the media. Luckily, the Turtle Giant was able to bring the audience back to the “gig-mode”.
This was the first time for me to see Eatliz live and they blew my mind. Their music recalled some of Blonde Redhead’s but to a less electronica extent. And somehow their live set had the shadow of Kula Shaker and No Doubt ‘s performance. The only complaint was I expected there to be at least some videos accompanied with the performance — it is one of Eatliz’s strengths in live shows, after all. Sadly, the venue could not provide such technical supports. But anyone who likes alternative/indie/psychedelia music should not miss Eatliz when they tour at somewhere near you.
Here is the complete setlist for their Hong Kong gig:
3. Big Fish
7. Big Phoney Eyes * new song
8. Lose This Child
9. Food Fighters
10. Say Where
11. Your House
12. Mountain Top
13. Mystical Lady
Review by Sylva Lam
Photography by May Lam