Review: Sprung Festival @ RNA Showgrounds 2012

Crowd at the Hilltop Hoods
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Despite the rain, enthusiasm for the second annual Sprung Hip Hop Festival wasn’t dampened among punters or the artists themselves.

With the mainstage housed under a huge, permanent structure (that could easily fit several Boeing 747s), the early acts were welcomed by a vocal and well populated crowd, with Seth Sentry and Mantra (arriving on time despite a cancelled flight) getting the juices flowing early on.

Outside, several shirtless guys did their best Woodstock, mud-diving impressions while local lad Evil Eddie had a small, but appreciative audience glued to the soggy ground. Back inside, TZU brought the musicianship up a notch, Joelistics once more showcasing why he’s one of Aussie hip hop’s most versatile word slingers, while Tuka, Jeswon and Morganics made sure everyone knew that the Thundamentals were in town.

Pez and Illy followed, their enthusiasm and love for the crowd evident with numerous shout-outs littering their respective sets, the fading light only heralding that the headliners from Adelaide weren’t far away.

Big ups to the folks at Sprung... two years running you’ve staged the premier hip hop event in this country. Here’s to many more years and maybe, just maybe a national tour in 2013. Pez, Thundamentals and Mantra have signed on already... that’s if you’ll have them again.
The Matchstick

Seven has clear, precise, and well-rehearsed vocals. He played songs from his first EP, 'Floated', and some newer remix releases. The crowd knew the words and at every chance joined in. Seven, backed by Mr Hill, threw inflatable pool toys into the audience to charge up the crowd.

DJ Joyride started Spit Syndicate’s show fiercely. He brought the dripping wet crowd in and Spit Syndicate stepped out and made them shake the water off. SS had an aura of experience around them but are surprisingly young. They fought the rain off and showed love to the Sprung crowd for making it out. Playing new and classic songs they made the crowd jump as the sun was setting. SS work off each other effortlessly, like natural partners.

As the Hilltop Hoods chants rang out, the stage was backlit with smoke in a red and blue silhouette, the trio entered to deep, ominous music. Aggressive from the start the Hoods kept pace with the crowd's high expectations. It was like Hilltop had ADHD, they were jumping and running around stage; speaking to, then yelling at the crowd imploring them to dance more.

'Down The Hard Road' had the whole crowd singing in unison, before they paused mid show building anticipation before playing 'People In The Front Row'. And like a warhorse trained for battle Hilltop knew where they needed to be and when. There were so many hands in the air I think everyone left Sprung with bigger biceps.
Harry Patchett

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