Live Review: YELAWOLF

5 April 2012 | 11:06 am | Olivia Gardner

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Capitol transformed into an underground hip hop club straight out of LA last week; it was hot, heaving and packed with homies. Amongst the tirade of tattoos and flowing JD there was a palpable excitement for ol' mate Yela to make his Australian debut. Local acts Lenny and Shystia kick-started things with some cool and witty lyricism, ending the set with a weird but humorous sexy dance. Their act was followed by Smiley and Complete, who are apparently onto the fact that “your nana is an anal whore.” Despite this, these locals laid down some respectable prose and established a suitable atmosphere for the evening ahead. Seasoned Aussie hip hop artist Briggs took over next as the tour's supporting act. What he lacks in aesthetics he makes up for in prose, taking the stage and demonstrating why it is that he's come to the attention of audiences nationwide. During the intermission punters could hardly keep it together in anticipation of Yelawolf, and when he finally swaggered onto stage the ovation was worthy of the performance that followed. Admittedly, the acoustics of the venue weren't amazing, but that was no deterrent for the man, ripping through his freestyles like no-one's business. He kicked off the show with Beverley Hills and followed it up with an appreciated mix of his old tracks mixed with the new, all the while swigging from a mandatory bottle of JD. The man stalked the stage and was infallible, however there were a weird couple of moments in the middle of the set where we heard a mash of all manner of tunes from Run DMC to some country and metal. All was forgotten pretty swiftly though when Yela's personal bodyguard ejected a man from the stage by ruthlessly grabbing him by the neck with one hand and tossing him aside like it was nothing. After this, when Yela popped the trunk, the crowd went mental, and at some point in the night there was even a number of ignited lighters being held in the air. It wasn't a long set but it was satisfactory, particularly for a Tuesday night show. Even the impressive Yela was a little bit stoked with the turn-out and vibe saying “we should move to Australia!”