ILLY @ Metropolis Fremantle
w/ Paces, Spit Syndicate, Maribelle
Saturday, March 25, 2017
An impressive bill of interstate acts followed Illy out West for his first headline show in some time. In the lead up came Maribelle, hip hop duo Spit Syndicate and producer Paces. Despite the short sets each of the supporting acts gave it their all warming the audience up for the main act.
Starting off the night was fellow Melbournian Maribelle, who at only 21 released her debut EP late last year, and brought energy and character to the stage performing a range of her hits and getting the audience ready for the night ahead.
Next came Spit Syndicate who are gearing up for the release of their latest album due next month. They brought their energy to the stage setting the tone for the rest of the night. Their music is a sure fire way to get a crowd excited and they managed to do just that.
Third was Paces who is hot on the Australian music scene right now. With the audience much larger by this stage Paces was able to get everyone amped and ready for the main act. He bought a strong energy and presence to the stage which had everyone buzzing in anticipation.
Metropolis was the perfect venue and it allowed space for a large audience while still allowing an intimate experience for everyone, even those at the back. Every angle allowed the audience to view all the artists clearly.
Illy‘s energy was undeniable as he hopped and jumped around the stage at lightning speed. This never wavered he gave the performance his all and made sure to keep that excitement going for the entire set. He regularly leaned into the mosh and pointed at the fans which clearly excited them, especially the girls.
One of his strongest performances was for Catch 22, one of his latest hits. Everyone sung along and this just increased his energy with him enjoying it even more as the crowd’s excitement grew. The backing track assisted the live vocals beautifully and he gave it his all singing enthusiastically the whole time.
Cigarettes was one of the hits he performed from 2010’s The Chase album. He was incredibly excited by the fact everyone still remembered every word to the seven year old hit. The chorus showed off his talents nicely, allowing him to showcase his vocal abilities. He performed the hit with a lot of passion, something clearly replicated in the audience who sung along at the top of their lungs.
At one stage he apologised for not being his usual self due to his grandma being very unwel, though it didn’t come across.
The set was cleverly constructed with a combination of new hits and classics. He also balanced slower more lyrically focused songs with his signature upbeat hits. The variety throughout kept the audience excited and didn’t allow for the set to become boring or repetitive.
After a short hiatus the band and Illy re-entered the stage once again, pumping up the crowd promising a five song encore since it was the first night of his massive national tour.
The encore was just as exciting as the rest of the set. He chose some of his biggest hits starting off with One For The City which the audience devoured dancing and singing along at the top of their lungs and enjoying every minute. A mashup featuring Peking Duk’s High had everyone waving their arms around singing along to the well known lyrics.
Illy wasn’t overly talkative but when he spoke to the audience, discussing usually personal topics, it gave the gig an intimate and personal touch. He went on to tell the audience that his grandma had been unconscious for days but the morning of the gig woke up and wished him luck. He continued by saying he worries this may be the last thing she ever says to him. This incredibly personal story hit a chord with the audience. His ability to connect with his fans is one of the reasons he is such a powerful performer.
For the final song of the evening he chose Paper Kites, one of his biggest songs. From the moment the music began the crowd were buzzing and hanging off every word. The final performance was as strong as the rest finishing the gig on a high note.
Another unique part to the show were the brilliant use of graphics. The subtlety was present using them to assist the performance not overpower them. Fluorescent shapes where cast during some off the more upbeat songs, while during swear jar the lyrics where cleverly protected on the wall.
The audience were clearly die hard fans, the majority knew every word and didn’t stop singing for the entire hour and half. Seeing the excitement and energy in the audience meant even those with no knowledge of Illy would be caught up in the moment. Even the bartenders were swept up in the moment and they danced the entire time screaming along to the lyrics just like the audience.
It was hard to fault the performance. The energy was undeniable, every song was performed with passion and was impossible not to enjoy with everyone around you so enthused and caught up in the moment.