"Security guards do multiple walk throughs, shining their torches at those standing on seats and asking everyone to please get down, but to no avail."
As we pile into Festival Hall, the security guards have a look that tells us they know they have a tough time on their hands.
Jack River owns the stage first, reeling in the crowd with her mesmerising voice. She plays a mixture of covers and originals, and the crowd are enthralled. Kwame is up next, bringing something a little more high energy, playing banger after banger, which sets the mood for the main event. Even those in the seated section are upstanding to better appreciate what Kwamee brings.
Before Peking Duk take to the stage, people are busy making friends as lollies and drinks are passed around. Security are doing the rounds, asking everyone not to stand on their seats during the show.
A video plays on the big screen: Peking Duk in the desert, asking one another if they should get to the gig. Obviously, the crowd goes wild, which means, yes! They should definitely get to the gig. Just like that they appear on the stage in all their shirtless glory. A smoke machine kicks things off, causing the crowd to go even crazier. Peking Duk seem to feed off our energy. After a couple of songs, Ben Woolner from SAFIA is introduced to the stage to supply guest vocals during Peking Duk's Say My Name. His voice carries through the venue and there's no time for standing still throughout the set. Security guards do multiple walkthroughs, shining their torches at those standing on seats and asking everyone to please get down, but to no avail. Everywhere is standing room.
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Peking Duk pause halfway through one song to pay quick tribute to Celine Dion with My Heart Will Go On, asking everyone to hold up their phone torches to create a sea of lights. The room is lit up and everyone goes wild. After finishing up their main set with High, Peking Duk leave the stage in a blur of smoke and pyros before being quickly summoned back. They then end with Stranger.
The theatrics and showmanship on display tonight leave us on a high.