Tricky played Brooklyn with Breanna Barbara by his side (pics, setlist)
Trip hop icon Tricky played Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Monday night (10/9), a show which was presented by BrooklynVegan. While his new album, ununiform, nods sonically to his '90s beginnings, there wasn't a whole lot of looking back at the MHOW show. The setlist favored newer material or radically reworked versions of old songs. Some things don't change, though. The show was at times a mess, with songs stopped midway and Tricky occasionally seeming like the last thing on his mind was the audience. His most notable engagement with the crowd was to grab someone's phone (with its flashlight on?) and fling it into the middle of the crowd. ("Fucking lights put me off!") But, Tricky overall did seem like he was in a good mood, often facing the crowd and saying enthusiastic "thank you"'s after some songs. There were also many times where it all came together and Tricky's status as a true innovator and orchestrator shone though brightly. AKA, it was a Tricky show.
Much like his 2016 tour, Tricky was backed only by a drummer (Luke Harris who is also now a member of Brand New Heavies) and guitarist Paul Noel. Luke is also in charge of triggered synths and other sounds. Things tended to veer between The xx style minimalism and late-'90s alt-rock territory, especially on a couple of extended ragers. Lighting was also minimal -- he basically played in the dark.
One thing that is different this time, though, is that he has Breanna Barbara on vocals. Tricky doesn't really click without that female counterpoint (something that was sorely missed at Webster Hall). There are eight guest vocalists on Tricky's new album alone (including Martina Topley-Bird), and Breanna Barbara brings a strong stage presence and a great voice that lies slightly outside of his normal choice of singers. But she handles all their parts. Every time she was on stage things became more focused, tension went up. The cover of Hole's "Doll Parts", done live as a duet, worked much better live than on ununiform, too, thanks in no small part to her.
SETLIST: TRICKY @ MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG 10/09/2017
IM NOT GOING
HERE MY DEAR
ITS YOUR DAY
WHEN WE DIE
photos by Mathieu Bredeau