Bliss n Eso
REVIEW Hamish Hastie
It was evident at the Bliss n Eso Circus Under the Stars outdoor tour at a chilly Wellington Square on Saturday night that Australian hip-hop had cemented its place in the Australian music-scape, whether you like it or not. As well as the royals of rhyme themselves, quality acts like Horrorshow and Seth Sentry pulled an impressive crowd that even big festival organisers would be envious of.
While the segregation of the adults and children that comes with an all-ages event was irritating, once you were three jimmies and coke down it didn't really matter where you were as long as you could scream, "yeow" at the top of your lungs in comfort.
As I arrived, Sydneysiders Horrorshow, made up of Adit Gauchan and Nick Bryant-Smith (MC Solo), had things under control. The Rain was a crowd favourite and I couldn't help but get the feeling these guys would be headlining their own outdoor hip-hop massacres soon enough. Melbournian Seth Sentry even more so, his catchy tunes What's My Scene, The Waitress Song and Dear Science are equal parts hip-hop and entertaining story. They're accessible by anyone, which showed as the entire crowd sang confidently along with him for most of his set.
New South Welshmen MC Bliss (Jonathan Notley), MC Eso (Max MacKinnon) and their disc jockey DJ Izm (Tarik Ejjamai) ate up the outdoor venue. Working every portion of the crowd to the bone with classics like Woodstock 2008, Eye of the Storm and Sea is Rising, they know what their fans love.
Their new music wasn't snubbed either. Singles like the title track from their hugely successful Circus in the Sky album (the eighth bestselling Australian album of 2013) and a special encore appearance by US singer- songwriter Ceekay Jones for the final track of the night My Life sent punters into overdrive.
The entire Circus Under the Stars tour is aimed at moving away from typical concert venues and offering a unique opportunity for Bliss n Eso fans to see them in a different light. While the venue might have been lost on a few mulleted blokes, it was a nice change from your typical cramped nightclub show. For a single genre to hold its own mini festival and have it so well attended is no easy feat. Despite the all ages restrictions I still found myself wanting to wave my flannel shirt in the air.
Working every portion of the crowd to the bone with classics like Woodstock 2008, Eye of the Storm and Sea is Rising, they know what their fans love.