"Morgan Bain made it possible for Drapht to play his famed cover of The Avalanches' song 'Frankie Sinatra'."
It was only two months ago that Drapht released the album Seven Mirrors, weeks ago he performed a hugely popular Like A Version on triple j, and now he is back in Perth to finish off the last leg of his nationwide tour. The moment was here and Drapht clearly wasn't planning on disappointing the packed-out crowd he had just come home to.
For around a decade and a half, Drapht has been held in high esteem in the hip hop community in Perth and, consequently, he earned himself the same respect from industry players around the country, so it was no surprise that he brought a memorable line-up to support him.
As the opening act, Tonite's performance was confident, gritty, cleanly executed and was complemented by a great crowd response. Following him, Marksman Lloyd proved himself a master of ceremonies in the truest sense by the way he controlled the crowd. Lloyd's audience interaction was his clear strength as a performer. Dylan Joel from Melbourne merged hip hop with acoustic guitar in a somewhat Ed Sheeran-esque performance, but managed to retain his own personality. The energy in the crowd grew by the time he started to play his cover of Randy Newman's You've Got A Friend In Me. The audience was finally primed, all that was left to do was prep their anticipation.
Trials (Funkoars, AB Original, Golden Era) was the DJ of the night and he read the audience well, starting the night out on a fusion of hip hop from Adelaide, WA and the rest of the world, and progressing to a more commercial selection of tracks as the night progressed. He kept the energy building so that it reached a peak before he introduced Drapht. From then on, it was pandemonium. As Drapht stepped on stage, the crowd erupted. Dazastah from Downsyde surprised us on the drums, Bitter Belief backed Drapht up on the mic, and Morgan Bain made it possible for Drapht to play his famed cover of The Avalanches' song Frankie Sinatra.
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Opening with Sing It (The Life Of Riley), Drapht had the audience singing along at the very start of his set. Then he got straight into material from Seven Mirrors. All Love, Mexico and Monsoon were all performed with a stage dynamic quite unlike the stock standard hip hop performance, and the audience was loving every second of it. He broke the string of songs from his new album up with a mix of some older songs, a solo track by his talented hypeman Bitter Belief and some new material, too. He didn't hold back on the audience favourites like Jimmy Recard and Rapunzel, plus he also managed to sneak The Paul The Dan (the track featuring Trials) in, giving his earlier fans and newer fans alike something to enjoy.
Always leave them wanting more, the saying goes. It was easy to see: this audience wanted Drapht. And when he was finished, they hadn't had enough. The word "encore" repeated by a handful of people in the audience soon proved contagious, consuming the entire venue until it was too loud to be ignored. Then the unmistakable sound of the intro to Dancin' John Doe drew the screams back out of the audience. We got exactly what we wanted, a spectacular night with a high standard of performance from hip hop artists across the country. But most importantly, we got the homegrown superstar that so many are proud to see on stage.