Although it was partly Young Franco and UV Boi’s hilarious social media presence and brilliant sense of humour that drew me to the Brisbane leg of their national tour (Wednesday, 25 January), I can assure you the two producers/ DJs take their music far more seriously than they take themselves.
Tyler Touché brought his blends of disco and house to The Triffid as the opening act, followed closely by Golden Vessel’s enchanting set of wave lapping, soul-soothing tunes, lulling the crowd over with a strong but steady, electronic sound.
A hefty fan base had accumulated in the minutes leading up to Young Franco’s slot, many chanting him to the stage and gathering into a tight swarm as he trotted to the turntable, flashing that Franco-famous grin at the audience before answering their pleas and immediately launching into his first track.
The kid oozes confidence when handling the decks, capably conquering the turntable like an expert and defying any notion of being ‘Young’. Captivating is an understatement; his quick hands and proficient movements were incredible to witness, well and truly putting the art of old-school DJing ‘on the map’ alongside any strings, brass or woodwind instrumental talent.
If averting your eyes from his enthralling presence on stage was a struggle, keeping your feet planted to the floor proved near impossible.
Franco strung together a killer selection of upbeat tracks that complemented each other flawlessly, demonstrating a natural ability to read and respond to the audience’s energy and showcasing an aptitude at handpicking fresh, relevant material.
Chance The Rapper’s ‘All Night’ went off with a bang though Franco’s originals received an equally massive reaction. ‘Drop Your Love’ made a relatively early appearance, but was reintroduced to close, sending the crowd into a wild frenzy on both occasions, many chiming along to the chorus.
I falsely presumed the performance had peaked after new single ‘Miss You’ made its inevitable arrival though the set simply intensified, Franco expertly mixing in heavier tracks (notably including at least three of GoldLink’s releases) and bringing the crowd to a crescendo before effortlessly finishing on a high note.
After witnessing Young Franco perform live, I can assure you whatever awkwardness or fresh-faced naivety he illustrates in photographs and on social media is simply a clever façade masking a genuine passion for DJing and producing, and an exceptional amount of natural-born talent.
UV Boi’s smooth, signature sound was much anticipated though what threw an unexpected spanner in the works was the amount of paraphernalia scattered across the stage; the use of keyboard, synths and a hit pad took me by surprise, while the addition of live vocals (aptly sung) stunned me completely.
What I thought would be a DJ set was in fact a multi-instrumental performance that demonstrated just how different UV Boi and Young Franco’s production style actually is.
Like Franco, UV Boi’s originals had fans in a trance, with ‘Love’ and ‘If She, If He’ clearly thrilling the crowd as they swayed in synchronisation with the deep, atmospheric synths. Instead of dictating his set by a predictable series of rises and drops, he steered everybody through a complicated pattern of ups and downs that challenged the audience to truly listen and engage with each track.
The set only increased in complexity as it progressed; it felt wired, electrifying, taking a number of sharp twists and turns as he gradually introduced an eclectic fusion of musical elements. Equipped with half a dozen, strong releases under his belt, and a now-known talent for performing live sets that span out from the turntable alone, it’s exciting to consider what UV Boi will conjure up as he matures in age and sound.
While personally I believe the acoustics of The Triffid are better suited to instrumental bands, what I found most disappointing was the fact the boys failed to reappear on stage and perform together, a collab I presumed would be inevitable.
Truly, there’s no bromance better than Franco and UV Boi’s, though I suppose one can be thankful their career is only just beginning; no doubts there’ll be an opportunity to witness the two of them take the decks soon.
Thanks for a stellar show, fellas; keep up the wicked tunes and LOLs on Facebook.