★★★★

 

The zany Otto & Astrid of Die Roten Punkte fame took the stage at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent to a fervent and excited late-night crowd. It’s a testament to both the passion of the duo’s music and the fan base it inspires that the audience was as big as it was, despite the hour nearing midnight.

Though the pair recently released their comedy web series, their live show at this year’s Sydney Festival was all about their most-recent album, Eurosmash!. They kicked things off with a bang, delivering a rendition of ‘Do You Speak Dance?’ drenched in smoke machines and Auto-Tune filters. However, it didn’t take long for the pop facade to fade, and the audience itself to become embroiled in the hilarious but relatable dynamic between the two.

 

Otto & Astrid’s live show brought their unique sibling rivalry to the forefront of the performance, incorporating the crowd at every turn. They’d interrupt one another, correct one another and throw themselves wholeheartedly into a friendly tug of war over the spotlight. It was never quite clear what was rehearsed and what was improvised, but the banter remained funny throughout.

 

One standout moment saw Astrid descend into laughter during the sing-along chorus of ‘I Wanna Go To Tokyo’ when she seemingly broke character to reveal that the song’s call and response chant (“I wanna go to T-O-Y-K-O“) boasted a glaringly obvious typo. All told, there was an ongoing and palatable enthusiasm inherent to the physical nature of the pair’s performances that kept the audience engaged and entertained.

 

As the clocks marched towards and beyond 12am, the performers embarked on a lengthy and mythic “mini-rock-opera” about their background growing up in Berlin and being inspired by the music of David Bowie. This part of the show wore a little, but shed some light on the deeper dynamics connecting and ultimately defining the two competing personas onstage.

At the conclusion of the show, Otto & Astrid warned audiences to beware fake merch sellers lurking beyond the walls of the Spiegeltent. However, there was little to fear. After all, these two are one of a kind.

 

Photo: Jamie Williams

Otto & Astrid were reviewed at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent on Thursday January 26 as part of Sydney Festival 2017.

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