Far from the Nosebleed Section: Hilltop Hoods @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre Live Review

Second stop of their Restrung tour, Australia’s (arguably) best hip-hop group were State of the Art at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. The Hilltop Hoods have long been one of Australia’s most well-loved acts, and they showed that off in true style. Their already sensational songs were reconstructed with the help of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the ethereal voices of the Queensland Show Choir and on drums was Australian music producer, drummer and DJ, Plutonic Lab.

A.B. Original, inspired by N.W.A and West Side Connection, was the first supporting act of the night. A member of the duo, Briggs, won Album Of The Year at the National Indigenous Music Awards, and together they performed a short but powerful set. Maverick Sabre, English-Irish songwriter and rapper, let out a heavy performance bursting with summery vibes of gospel, soul and funk. Playing his hit song Let Me Go and mixing in some old school beats.

The curtains slowly peeled away revealing the mass of musicians ready to enrapture the audience, the team launched straight into Higher as the Hilltop Hoods played an electrifying show to the lyrically induced crowd, with the atypical backing of the Orchestra. The musicians were led by the New Zealand born conductor Hamish McKeich, who also conducted the orchestra during the recording of the album. Dominating the stage, DJ Debris’ masterfully fused everything altogether.

It didn’t take long for them to get settled in, with MC Suffa and MC Pressure bolting up and down the stage as fast as they could belt out lyrics. The crowd chanted out the words to The Hard Road, Chase That Feeling, Lights Out and I Love It but the solidarity between artist and audience didn’t stop there. Through The Dark amassed a spectacular sight of phone flashlights creating a celestial feel. Brisbane singer, Sinead Burgess came on stage to support the song 1955 with her graceful tones and simply beautiful vocals. Maverick Sabre also  returned to the stage to perform Live And Let Go and the crowd stirring Won’t Let You Down.

Everyone was cosby sweatin’ by the encore, but that didn’t stop them letting out their inner vocalists. The line-up of special guests just kept flowing as Melbourne hip hop artist Illy made a surprise appearance, reportedly flying into Brisbane for the sole purpose of joining them for Cosby Sweater.

A hip hop group, symphony orchestra, pyrotechnics and choir – and odd mix but truly spectacular.

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