I’ll never forget the first time I saw The Parlotones live in concert. They were supporting Violent Femmes in Johannesburg and apart from knowing one of their songs, I wasn’t really familiar with them. They burst on to the stage with a level of energy and confidence on par with the biggest bands in the world, and I was blown away. I stood stunned through their first song and within the first bars of their second song, I ran to the kiosk and bought both their CDs.
It feels strange to say “both their CDs” because the darlings of the South African indie scene have come a long way since 2005; they have released four studio albums and have dominated the South African Music Awards since 2006. When not recording, they have toured tirelessly across Europe and the UK, Australia and USA. Known for their brilliant and explosive live performances, The Parlotones came to the attention of millions of people worldwide when they performed at the 2010 Official FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert alongside Shakira, The Black Eyed Peas, and Alicia Keys.
On the November 14, 2009, The Parlotones made history when they became the first South African band ever to sell out the 13,000-capacity Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg. Live Design is the product of that evening and of the band's huge achievement. This live CD features 18 of The Parlotones’ biggest hits from Radiocontrolledrobot (2005), A World Next Door to Yours (2007) and Stardust Galaxies (2009).
It is strange. I hadn’t even intended to review Live Design but I spotted the album on AOL Full CD Listening Party and I simply could not stop listening to it. As I played it for the fifth time, I figured that this is exactly the type of listening experience that is meant to be shared.