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Live Review: Seth Sentry, Remi, Otis High

9 August 2016 | 11:28 am | Rhys Anderson

"...he manages to convince the crowd to split in half and jumps the barrier to walk between them... something he calls the 'Holy Moses'."

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Punters were undeterred by a mix-up with start times, with the Facebook event purporting a 7pm start time while doors didn't open until 8:30pm. 

Somehow Melbourne group Otis High managed to warm a crowd that had lined up for more than an hour on a cold Hobart night. The group, comprised of two frontmen and a DJ who also would join in for punchy boom bap choruses, were fast powerful hip hop reminiscent of young Beastie Boys. Otis High are able to bring a lot of punch out of their set and were a surprising standout. 

Remi, an artist that has spent the last few years paying his dues on the tour circuit, has transitioned as an artist. He flows naturally and powerfully with well thought out lyrics, which were delivered with a great dynamic as Remi belted them over a live drum kit. "I remember what my sensei says when we're training," Remi begins, building up to a request for audience participation: "Nobody hates you like you hate you, and if they do fuck 'em. Now I want you to sing it with me."  The real drums and looped synths helped bring a level of live performance energy that brought hands to the air quicker than beads thrown at Mardi Gras. 

The house music - a great playlist of underground hip hop was hilariously interrupted between Remi and Seth Sentry with some ads for Spotify Premium. A sponsorship opportunity gone wanting.

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"I am one of the world's worst housemates," Seth Sentry announces. "We're always given fruit back stage but we never eat it, so I'm going to give it back now." Sentry starts to throw handfuls of apples into the crowd. A punter chucks back a premix can that covers Sentry. He acknowledges it but keeps performing. The artist builds his entire sets around crowd interaction and participation so it's good to see he can roll with the punches. At one point he gets the crowd to put their hand on the shoulder of the person next to them and say just one word, "hello". It's a quick easy gimmick to open up your audience and it proves very effective with the young crowd. Sentry, combined with the loose lightning energy of DJ Sizzle and the powerful breakneck-paced drumming of drummer Stevie Cat Jnr, can deliver crowd pleasers time and time again, if only people were listening. The crowd seems split between people grinning as wide as highway roads, and others whose preen and posture seem unsure of how to react to the hip hop show. These few fixate on whether people are watching them, worry about getting enough water and pay little attention to the artists. Not your usual hip hop crowd.

Sentry's crowd pleasing gimmicks hold up well, he manages to convince the crowd to split in half and jumps the barrier to walk between them, slapping hands on his way up and down the procession, something he calls the 'Holy Moses'. When Seth returns to the stage he has managed to get himself two beers and a "marijuana cigarette" as he terms it. Thanking the crowd from the depth of his heart the crowd begin to chant for him to chug the beer, a task DJ Sizzle rises to the occasion of, downing the beer in less than four seconds to roaring applause. 

The track Hell Boy is a departure from the awkward nerdy rap Seth Sentry became known for with the runaway hit The Waitress Song; it's fast, brutal, and dynamic. Hell Boy is a strong sprawling track that twists and bends under spit-fire flow, with a signature bent toward a catchy chorus. The night at the Uni Bar showed more than anything that Remi and Seth Sentry are still developing on their way to their true sound and style. They are evolving and improving at a rapid and congruous rate with the scene itself.