Review: Genesis Owusu @ The Fortitude Music Hall (Brisbane)

Genesis Owusu played The Fortitude Music Hall (Brisbane) on 14 December, 2023 - image @ Simone Gorman-Clark
I'm Keali and I live in Brisbane. I love anything cats, country or metal, and I love a good moshpit. When I'm not behind the camera or writing, I am probably at band practice or reading with my cat and a cup of tea.

Fans were pulled into an ethereal euphoria where words weaved a tapestry of rhythm and rhyme, as Genesis Owusu emerged, sculpting sonic landscapes at The Fortitude Music Hall (14 December).

As the city lights dimmed, a palpable anticipation hung in the air, signalling the arrival of fans. In a whirlwind of energy and charisma, Genesis Owusu's audience took command of the venue, donning cockroach outfits and red lines painted down their faces.

From the first beat drop to stepping out on stage with a Kenyan flag, it was evident that Elsy Wameyo was not merely your everyday hip hop artist, but a storyteller, weaving intricate narratives with razor-sharp lyricism.

The artist's ability to effortlessly blend introspection with infectious beats created a dynamic and emotionally charged atmosphere that resonated with fans on a profound level.

A standout moment of Elsy's set was her song 'Outcast', where she discussed how much the song meant to her and how people made her feel like she wasn't enough. "Today I stand here proud of who I am, as I sing this song, I want y'all to remember that no matter what anyone says to y'all, y'all are enough."

Elsy Wameyo

Elsy Wameyo - image © Simone Gorman-Clark

Draped in the rhythms of poetry, EARTHGANG emerged as a modern-day powerhouse, wielding words as weapons and melodies as magic. With a magnetic presence that commands attention, this maestros of the streets narrate tales of struggle and triumph, encapsulating the raw essence of life in the concrete jungle.

Before going into their beloved song 'Proud Of U', they stated: "Turn to the person right next to you and tell them, I'm proud of you." Their lyrical wizardry weaved through the beats, transcending mere entertainment to become a powerful commentary on societal narratives.

From the pulsating beats that resonate with the heartbeat of the city to the incisive lyrics that cut through the noise, the hip hop group are storytellers, visionaries, and cultural architects, shaping the soundtracks of our lives and challenging us to see the world through their poetic lens.

In their art, they find a voice for the voiceless, creating a sonic canvas that paints the vivid colours of authenticity and resilience.

EARTHGANG - image © Simone Gorman-Clark

In a kaleidoscope of sonic innovation and boundless charisma, Genesis Owusu took centre stage, turning the venue into a pulsating realm of musical transcendence.

From the very first note, it became apparent that the Australian-Ghanaian artist was not merely performing; he was orchestrating an immersive experience that defied genre constraints.

Turning around to his crowd, he stated: "If you're with a lover, or with a friend, put your arm around them. Because we all in this together baby!"

Owusu's stage presence was electrifying, a fusion of confidence and vulnerability that drew the audience into his world. His ability to seamlessly blend funk, rap, and soul created a sonic landscape that felt both familiar and groundbreaking.

Genesis Owusu.2
Genesis Owusu - image © Simone Gorman-Clark

The concert was not just a musical performance; it was a visual feast. An intricate light show accompanied every beat, creating a synthetic experience that heightened the emotional impact of each song.

The dynamic interplay between Owusu and his band added an extra layer of energy, turning the performance into a collaborative dance between artist and musicians.

Beyond the music, Owusu's engaging rapport with the audience stood out. He shared personal anecdotes, interacted with fans, and created an atmosphere of inclusivity that transformed the venue into an intimate space. The crowd responded with unbridled enthusiasm, mirroring the artist's infectious energy.

It was clear that Brisbane was a special show with Owusu sharing: "Brisbane holds a very special place in my heart because Brisbane was the first city to sing my lyrics back to me." Before adding: "I appreciate everyone who's come out to support little old me, LITTLE OLD ME!"

Genesis Owusu.3
Genesis Owusu - image © Simone Gorman-Clark

The encore began with the crowd chanting "fear the roach, love the roach," as he invited four fans in cockroach costumes onstage, which was a reference to his new album, that he stated was "about roaches, it's about existentialism".

As Genesis Owusu played through his set, it was testament to the artist's boundary-pushing creativity, a sonic journey that left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to be in attendance.

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Genesis Owusu - image © Simone Gorman-Clark

As the final echoes of the encore faded away, the audience was left with a profound sense they had witnessed not just a show but a glimpse into the future of genre-defying musical brilliance.

More photos from the show.

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