Live Review: Peking Duk, The Meeting Tree, Benson

8 March 2016 | 4:55 pm | Emma McConnell

"An entertaining set full of onstage antics including plenty of dirty dancing, partial nakedness and pro-drug banter."

Kicking off a night of dance bangers, Melbourne-based Benson literally got the crowd up off the floor and moving. Warming up the punters with a mixture of deep house samples and straightforward dance hits the solo producer treated us to his track Hot Mess early on in his set. Benson was a welcomed yet otherwise no-fuss opening act.

It was a smooth transition straight into The Meeting Tree, a notorious duo made up of Sydneysiders Joyride and Raph Dixon. It was an entertaining set full of onstage antics including plenty of dirty dancing, partial nakedness and pro-drug banter. Lyrically Joyride took control with hit R U A Cop while Dixon provided an abundance of amusing commentary. The boys wrapped it up with their latest release I Pay My Tax (I Hate Myself), a self-confessed slow finish for the duo. A brief return of Benson to the stage to fill in time featured an unexpected guest appearance by his parents, with his dad brilliantly triggering the infamous DMX track Party Up (Up In Here) before Benson finished with the crowd pleaser Dancing In The Moonlight.

A video montage of national icons and unequivocally Australian stereotypes preceded the arrival of headliners Peking Duk, performing in Sydney for their aptly named Australiana tour. Interspersing snippets of their own hits throughout the set the duo mixed a multitude of classics spanning from virtually every perceivable genre, catering to all tastes and musical preferences. This subtle yet satisfying rotation of tracks really added to the high energy set that brought out the punters even on a school night. Peking Duk's originals also proved their worth with 2012 release The Way You Are particularly impressive. They finished with more comprehensive performances of their latest tracks, Take Me Over and High, completing the evening with an orchestrated finale — giant balloons followed by more joyous clouds of confetti streaming over their fans. Overall the show was a highly theatrical affair with perfectly timed confetti explosions, a 'Fuck Mike Baird' chant and imposing visuals, making it difficult not to be impressed.