Rescheduled from a May Saturday to a very wet Wednesday in October, the much-anticipated sold-out CARIBOU show finally made it to the Invisible Wind Factory. Luckily just before the doors open, the clouds part and the full moon shines brightly over the North Docks.
I arrive just in time for ELKKA’S opening number in her supporting role. The Technicolour Records/Ninja Tunes DJ and producer states how pleased she is to play Liverpool for the first time, and the love is bounced back from the crowd. She really warms up the early arrivals and gets people going from the start. The moment the bassline drops in her second track, many forget that it’s still early on a midweek evening.
Elkka’s voice is hypnotic. Beaming over the heavy pre-recorded electronic beats, she’s able to control the thickening crowd with a flick of her finger on the faders. A single snippet of a sample from 90s anthem The Bouncer makes me smile as she rounds off her set, before heading to the bar for a celebratory tequila shot, openly relieved that the technical difficulties she encountered in her debut soundcheck had been resolved.
The lights come back up and stay on for what seems like an age. Most of the audience have waited long enough for this, so they can wait a little longer. And their patience is rewarded. The lights eventually go down and Caribou appear on stage as if by magic. Aided and abetted by an amazing light show that creates just the right atmosphere for their brand of uplifting music.
The artists themselves don’t have to exert much energy. They are very present on stage and not at all static, but it’s a more subtle exuberance, letting the music itself direct proceedings. Backlit by graphic geometric shapes, bright colours and monochromatic patterns, the band are merely silhouettes emerging from their vibrant backdrop which bounces off the many reflective surfaces around the room.
It is more than enough to encourage the audience to make some shapes of their own on the dancefloor, and they don’t need much persuasion. From the first song to the last, and into the encore, everyone is captivated, ebbing together like sailboats on a swirling sea of rhythm.
Anyone who might have been disappointed that the show was moved from a weekend to a weekday promptly forgives and forgets in the moment. It no longer feels like a hump day. The rain even manages to stay away long enough for us to escape just a little soggy with sweat, and we all trickle out of the exits and back out onto the moonlit streets.