Sorrento born, Aussie hip hop artist Seth Sentry’s latest album, ‘Strange New Past’, features a song called ‘Dumb’ in which he laments not being smarter than a fifth grader.
As evidence of his stupidity, Seth cited the fact that the show in Adelaide at HQ Complex was the 31st show on a 49-date tour. But there is no doubt that many in remote and regional Australia are extremely grateful for this extraordinary coverage of the continent.
Despite the exhaustive nature of their schedule, Seth Sentry, DJ Sizzle and support acts Dylan Joel and Ivan Ooze delivered a passionate and high energy performance befitting a concert in the home town of skip-hop royalty, the Hilltop Hoods. While it is stagecraft 101 to claim the audience is “the best of the tour”, their proclamations sounded genuine in this instance.
Prior to the headlining performance, the HQ crowd was treated to warm-up sets by two Melbourne artists from the new breed of Australian hip hop: Ivan Ooze and Dylan Joel. Both artists brought distinctive elements to the table, perhaps marking a change in direction for the genre in this country.
Viral sensation Ooze, taking his pseudonym from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, delivered a scatter-gun vocal delivery that was much influenced by US artists, such as Outkast and Eminem. There was no hint of an ocker accent.
Dylan Joel broke hip hop convention by interspersing his rhymes with the playing of guitar and singing. While this may have been foreign to many audience members, success often comes to those who break the mould.
In true hip hop style, both support acts took to the stage throughout the main act; most notably during a three-way freestyle battle to the refrains of The Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’. Ooze was also woefully outmatched in a beer-chugging competition with DJ Sizzle, who appears to be a genetically-gifted boozer.
While all of these antics were entertaining (especially Sizzle’s multi-story crowd surf to the sound desk), the main show was the rhyming of Seth Sentry.
Sentry opened his performance with ‘How Are You’, which is lead track off ‘Strange New Past’. It is a powerful number which deals with mental illness and, in this writer’s opinion, the reluctance of Australian men to engage in discussion about mental health.
Hit singles ‘Float Away’ and ‘Run’ came very early in the set, much to the pleasure of the audience. ‘Run’ with its themes of delinquent adolescence was accompanied by the blue and red lights of a police car.
Following some reluctant birthday shoutouts, Sentry kicked into ‘Dear Science’ which was very apt for 2015 given its 'Back To The Future 2' references. A replica hoverboard made a cameo at the end of the song, but a real hoverboard would have been less of a let down.
‘The Waitress Song’ provided the biggest sing-a-long for the evening. The satanic ‘Hell Boy’, with its red lights and smoke, converted the venue formerly known as Heaven into the fiery surrounds of Hell.
For the final song, ‘Rooftop Hooligans’, Sentry urged the crowd to activate the torches on their smart phones to re-create the experience of a three-day rooftop acid trip spent staring at the stars.
The obligatory encore was concluded with the Cypress Hill-esque ‘Fake Champagne’. At the end of the song, Sentry popped the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine and poured out a glass for all the night’s performers. The camaraderie between the touring artists was clearly evident which is a testimony to the health of the Aussie hip hop scene.
With almost 20 shows remaining on the mammoth tour, there is an opportunity for almost everyone to hitch a ride on this road show.