Live Review: Tkay Maidza, Willow Beats, Porsches, Tink

21 September 2015 | 1:39 pm | Jenny Nguyen

"While it may have been prematurely perceived as the warm-up show, it quickly escalated into a small-scale rave..."

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Rapper Tkay Maidza kicked off the first of her two hometown shows in full force. While it may have been prematurely perceived as the warm-up show, it quickly escalated into a small-scale rave complete with sticky floors and punters on the shoulders of friends. Maidza showcased an array of originals and called on a few of her friends to help turn Thursday night into an electronic beat feast for the ears. 

Local producer Tink, real name Annabel Hartlett, was on the decks to welcome the guests piling in through the doors. The Hunidn1 hit maker played a high-energy set featuring quite a few trap snares and thumping basslines that felt like a big wallop to the face. The Thursday night crowd at Uni Bar was naturally packed full of students and, being an all-ages show, there were a few parents spotted supervising their children at the show. These gig babies were introduced to Sweat It Out duo, Porsches, whose toe-tapping track Horses had everyone bopping up and down and singing along to the oxymoronic lyrics. By the end of their short-but-sweet set, Porsches received high levels of praise for their dreamy, ethereal electronica sounds and premiered two brand new tracks titled High and Karate. Not only were they musically engaging, the charming duo were also spot on cue with banter and a super-slick stage presence. 

Willow Beats continued the dream sequence performing songs from their two studio EPs. For those who have been to Willow Beats shows in the past, the set was pretty much unchanged from the one for their Water EP tour. Nonetheless, a beautiful voice paired with glitchy sounds made for a pretty decent performance. Prominent Tkay collaborator Luke McKay eased into a DJ set, playing a string of Top 40 and late-2000s tracks to appease the young crowds. 

While Tkay Maidza is yet to release an album, she has successfully managed to build up a huge following. Her aesthetic is refreshing, and she may very well be among our best rap exports yet. South Australians have every right to be proud, and proud they were when the room appeared to be full to the brim. Maidza's entrance on stage was met with huge cheers and applause but she didn't let that carry on for too long and launched straight into her collaboration with Swick & Lewis Cancut, Arm Up. She played all the singles people would have recognised from her Switch Tape EP and tried her hand at some freestyling. Perhaps resonating with her own journey to rap stardom, Maidza rapped over Drake's hit Started From The Bottom and then sang over the latest Calvin Harris & Disciples hit, How Deep Is Your Love. Maidza is not shy to work with her audience and even climbed upon the amps to get a good view of everyone. Her stage set-up featured inflatable spheres with the cartoon eyes etched around which were deflated immediately as soon as the show ended.

Maidza wrapped it up with an extended version of her Hottest 100-ranked Switch Lanes. It was a little bit awkward for the crowd who shouted for an encore, unaware that she had exhausted all her releases. However, it is not hard to see why this was demanded; Maidza's live shows are brimming with excitement and everyone in the room knew the lyrics to the songs, or at least the catchy hooks. It felt like she was singing with her audience rather than performing to them. Whether you were moshing at the very front or tucked away at the back of Uni Bar, the energy was felt throughout the room. The same could be said about the Adelaide musician's pending dominance in the big bad world.

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