Image description: On a purple-lit stage, Adam Briggs is facing towards the right, and sings into a microphone. He is wearing a grey shirt and a black cap.
By Elaine Hanlon
Opening at the Chevron Lighthouse – an outstanding venue – on Friday night was a powerhouse of talented Indigenous people that brought an infectious energy to the stage. It was a celebration of Hip-Hop, Soul and R&B from all over this great country.
The first act was Lil Mase, a rapper who fired up the night with his explosive performance. He was backed by DJ Deadly and, for one song, the Didgeridoo. His raps about family, against the backdrop of the night sky, left the crowd speechless.
Next we had Jamilla, who loosened up the tone with her chill electronic wave synths, laced with stellar vocals and soulful wordplay. Her lyrics drew the audience in and evoked personal introspection as she twisted the reverberating R&B and electronic beats with energy and spirit.
After a few songs, she was joined by MissGenius, another boss rapper. Her deft flow, razor-sharp dirty lines and meticulous beat energised the mood. Both ladies had a strong stage presence that generated a bold and sassy musical cocktail.
Subsequently, we met Birdz, a fresh new sound from Brigg’s Bad Apple Music label. He brought heavy bass and darker themes, along with powerful lyrics that reminded us of the struggles faced by many Indigenous people today. The vocals and beats occasionally worked up to a sustained barrage of sound that rained down with apocalyptic vibes.
Finally, Briggs – one half of the infamous ARIA award-winning Hip-Hop duo A.B. Original – stepped into the house, with his roguish, golden-toothed grin. It didn’t take long for his hard-hitting rhymes to fill the floor with bouncing arms. The charismatic yet humble Yorta Yorta amped the audience up with an energy that didn’t fade until the set was over. To further collaborate, Briggs invited dancers from Perth Festival’s BUNGGUL onto the stage, and we celebrated together through dance and song.
Overall, an epic night. Respect to the artists who shared their messages of hope and frustration with us, and left the crowd wanting more.
Five bad apples out of five.
Elaine is humbled by last night’s celebration of Australia talent, from 45,000+ years ago to now.
Image courtesy of Tashi Hall