Aching legs – check, ringing ears to the 212 beat – check, bindis and glitter all stuck in my hair – check, post gig depression the morning after – check, making good friends with strangers in the line from 5pm and also in the mosh – check, experiencing a concert that felt more like a party hosted by Azealia Banks – priceless!
Last night I was at the Palace Theatre in Melbourne attending Azealia Banks’ Future festival sideshow. I was adamant to stick it out front and centre so didn’t hesitate to line up early at the door, upon seeing the line I was greeted with a sea of youth. There was an abundance of glitter, bindis, ripped denim, short booty shorts, bare midriffs, burgundy and dark purple lippie (worn often by the babe Banks herself), gold chains, docs, fan made Azealia get up and of course the cigarettes and alcohol being lit up and consumed to pass time! This crowd was everything Azealia was, a generation defined by the Internet, the blogosphere and the social media, but brought together by the same love and passion for the game of rap and vocal excellence.
7:30pm on the dot the doors opened and a flood of people gushed through the doors. Resisting the urge to admire the beautiful venue (it’s an immaculate location) I made my way quickly to the front and secured a great spot for the rest of the night. Fast forward a few hours, after all the supporting acts (including lady dj Nina Las Vegas) and you will get a restless crowd that just wanted to get their good dose of Azealia. The almost 4 hour wait created such a tense vibe in the crowd but as soon as she was seen walking on stage – all sense of anything was gone, it was insane. She was a little pocket rocket in her tight chocolate coloured cut out attire and infamous 30+ inch weave of rapunzel hair, she was exactly what and who we all thought she would be. Promising to make some noise and f*ck Melbourne up she got the crowd warmed with a quick verse of the ‘Out Of Space‘ track from her Fantasea mix tape and delivered from then on many other songs from the 1991 EP, the Fantasea mix tape and also her new album Broke With Expensive Taste. With every song and every gap in-between Azealia was so engaging with us, this is what makes me accept that she cuts her shows so short. I’m not sure if she’s just a cheeky lazy girl, physically incapable of going for any longer or actually has a legitimate reason for not playing her full scheduled time slot but with the delivery she provides in the time she is on stage it’s much more than some artists I go and see who come on stage perform their songs and piss off almost arrogantly back stage. She posed for photographers and everyone in the front, she interacted with the crowd after each song, even replying to some fans with ‘I love you too’.
Music wise, Azealia was flawless. Each song was perfection, almost better than the studio recorded version. Although she displayed some restraint she didn’t hold back with the tracks she did play especially her career launching ‘212‘, her personal favourite of the Fantasea mix tape ‘Luxury‘ and ‘1991‘. However like most great shows Azealia was finished before I could even register what I had just experienced. Like everyone else in the crowd wanting just one (or four) more song, I waited around after she exited the stage hoping to see a return. There was no return and the crowd was left either bitter because of her short cut performance or in awe that they had just seen the young rapunxel do her thing!
One security guard dissed her show saying it was embarrassing, disappointing and ‘too ghetto’ – I wanted to just remind him that this is a 21 year old young lady straight outta Harlem NYC, if anyone is licensed to come across as ‘too ghetto’ all bets it’s fucking her! As for the disappointing part I may agree to a small extent in that the liquorice b*tch was supposed to play a 10pm to 11:30pm set however only ended up on stage for much less from around 10:25pm to 11:20pm. Apparently this has happened before, with the likes of her 25 minute Splendor In The Grass incident (crowd got mad angry), however it cannot be denied that she left the Melbourne crowd smitten with what she did provide and for those loyal fans who arent too phased with the promptness of her show she will perform again in Melbourne this Sunday with the Future Music Festival Crew. I will be there and so should you!
*All photos accompanying this post were taken by me on my iPhone.