12 April 2019
The night started at Spice Alley, only later did I realise that the after-work feed that served as the prelude to the gig would foreshadow the gig itself.
Before dinner, I told myself that I wouldn’t miss any of the opening acts as I have a tendency to rock up to live gigs halfway through the openers and bracing the ridiculous lines at the bar often mean I miss the rest of the act.
Not this time. Well, almost. We managed to catch the last few tracks of NYNE’s set, which included her song ‘Sides, ft. Allday’. It was good, but it definitely could have been elevated if Allday was live onstage rapping his own verse, one can dream, hey?
For an artist who is relatively green in regards to releasing music and playing live shows, NYNE opened the show nicely, offering a snapshot of what was to come.
Next up was Kota Banks. She undoubtedly stole the show. She marched on stage, rocking a getup reminiscent of the spice girls and gave a performance of that any of the spice girls would have been proud of (Spice Alley coming full circle?).
Kota has the attitude of a superstars with the voice and dance moves to back it up. I see big things for her in the near future. Big call here but she has all the tools to make it globally and potentially sell out venues such as the Enmore Theatre within the next 2-3 years (fingers crossed it’s still around by then).
Not long after Kota left the stage, Basenji appearead, walking out to a dimly lit stage. He quietly slid in behind the DJ deck that had been used for the prior performances, while a shrill of hush swept across the audience. Punters seemed slightly confused, but once the drop of the track Basenji played reverberated off the back of the venue, the stage lit up as did the crowd.
Basenji would go. On to mix through an array of his own hits and some well known, modern, electronic, party tracks. The crowd was totally immersed in his set the whole time. The mixing was tight and it became clear as to why he’s the man behind some of Australia’s biggest electronic hits and collaborations of the last couple of years.
When Mallrat, real name Grace Shaw, graced us with her presence, everybody in the Metro Theatre erupted. One of the first sentences she uttered was, “I’ve brought a couple friends along tonight, thanks for being here”. I automatically assumed she was talking about Basenji and NYNE, as they are friends and have worked on music together. But then it hit me, “Allday, UFO?, surely not.” I though to myself, as I immediately dispelled my own self-hype.
As Mallrat cycled her releases, it became apparent that even though she is a young artist, her music is mature past her years. An array of hits in her back catalogue, many of which have grace Triple J’s hottest 100 countdown, will continue to bring in fans, as her star is very much still on the rise.
When Mallrat played ‘UFO’, guess what happened? Allday appeared, almost as if submerging from a UFO, he appeared on stage, spat his verse, gave Mallrat a hug and disappeared, never to be seen again. Is that not how alien sightings are spoken of?
Mallrat would go on to play ‘Groceries’, which I think is arguably her most popular track. To was a total hit with the audience, with one girl jumping on her friends shoulders while swinging around a reusable shopping bag from Coles, reminding us all of the small win for environmental sustainability that is much needed.
I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of the genres of music that the artists who played on Friday night create, having said that, all the artists absolutely killed it, a truly spicy night.