Not two weeks after returning home from another highly anticipated North American tour, Motez “Tez” Obaidi has kicked off the Australian leg of his The Future tour, with his first port of call being Sydney’s own Metro Theatre.
Arriving late to a packed house, the last prime spot was in the upper L-shaped balcony inside Metro’s main hall – not so great for dancing but ideal for a bird’s eye view of the show. This was perfect for me being stone cold sober and having worked nine hours that day.
True to form, Obaidi was on stage at 10:20pm and not a minute later. Above all else, he has always exhibited a professional approach to his craft, and it shows. Every part of his performance is curated to a tee; the light show – perfectly in sync to each beat; the sound – never too harsh and never too soft.
After seeing hundreds of live acts, it has become incredibly easy to pick those who have spent an extra five minutes on the pre-performance sound check and those who haven’t. Obaidi unremittingly falls into the former of the two.
Magenta strobes cut through the haze of cigarette and joint smoke blanketing the gyrating sea of heavily lucid revellers heaving below. Meanwhile, the soft synth piano riff from The Future slowly began building, joined soon after by the snare and then followed by the indulgent vocals of Anthony & Cleopatra, “You and I have something going on / Something going on…”
Before long the crowd was swaying and singing along to the chorus of Obaidi’s most recent and most sincerely personal tune to date. Though a bit different to what many expect from the club-riling veteran, this downbeat, intimate tune exposes its truly delicate nature when experienced live.
After mixing in a few more known and relevant tracks to ease the transition back into a party vibe, the slow, deep bass of his widely-adored edit of Sage The Gemini’s Gas Pedal became quite noticeable.
From here, Obaidi’s show only went from strength to strength. Obvious standouts The Vibe and Praise, being no exception Obaidi was undoubtedly in firm control of the crowd mood and atmosphere.
Short of perhaps another Australian contemporary, Golden Features, fewer and fewer producer/DJs are really creating original music that challenges the bounds of modern techno and dance genres. Sure, not every loop and hook that Obaidi used had me awestruck, but as a whole show, few new age producers could rival his imagination and will to experiment with the endless panel of tools at his fingertips.
Moreover, Motez’s ability to seamlessly sew his own tracks into the endless tapestry of his set is unsurpassed – his knowledge of producing and not just mixing remains evidential that this is so.
If there was only one thing I could fault about Obaidi’s show is that he lacks a wide variety of original music. It’s not that I don’t love his ability to DJ and mix, it’s just that I like his original tracks so much that I wish there were more of them.
Yet, without a doubt as time goes on, we’re likely to see much more original content coming from the Iraqi-born pioneer.
As mentioned prior, Friday night at Metro Theatre marked the start of Motez’s Aus-wide The Future tour which sees him visit Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne (in that order) before giving the East Coast a thorough work over and finishing up at THIS/THAT festival in Newcastle on 4 November.
Tickets for most shows are still available, so if you like fun, and you like music – go get ya greasy fingers on them before they sell out.