Watch Gotye Perform ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’
Hits don’t get much bigger than Gotye’s international crossover smash ‘Somebody I Used to Know,’ an enchanting groove of a tune that deftly manages to turn the mixed emotions of a relationship gone sour into the most subtle of anthems. Gotye is the golden boy of music at the moment — despite the fact that nobody seems to know how to pronounce his name — and thus one of the most anticipated musical guests on ‘Saturday Night Live’ this season. Lucky for his growing legion of fans, he did not disappoint.
NBC’s Studio 8H is notorious for difficult acoustics, but Gotye turned in a crystal-clear performance that sonically matched the album version almost note for note. With his four-piece backing band winding its way though the sparse accompaniment — tip-toeing xylophone, a lightly-plucked acoustic, echoed samples, skittering percussion — Gotye’s strong voice was front and center, slowly building as things progressed towards the arrival of Kimbra, the song’s spiteful siren. Kimbra’s big brown eyes are almost as expressive as her voice, and her movement across the stage replicated the separation that the lovers express lyrically; when she finished her verse, she turned her back to Gotye in a slight dramatic gesture that matched the tune’s massively successful video.
Gotye returned later in the show to perform ‘Eyes Wide Open,’ a strong contender for the next single off his ‘Making Mirrors’ album. We haven’t tracked down a clip of that song yet, so for now enjoy watching ‘Somebody I Used to Know’ — and wondering if Gotye is poised for superstardom, or is doomed to become that Aussie who sang that song we used to love. Sometimes a hit gets so big, it’s hard to not forever be associated with it. Lucky for Gotye, the excellent ‘Making Mirrors’ has several more potential crossover smashes on it.