View our full gallery below
Image: Vasili Papathanasopoulos.
From start to finish we were partying with bbno$. That’s exactly what it was in the room at The Factory Theatre in Sydney, one big party in which everyone was dancing, singing and vibing along with the Canadian rapper. Bringing back the energy to concerts bbno$ genuinely interacted with the crowd, talking about how much he loves Australia every time he comes here and how love he feels every time he visits. Chatting about the comparisons between the Melbourne crowds and Sydney audience, talking about how he wanted everyone to go insane for the next hour and a half.
Launching onto the stage to tonight we fuckin’ party, bbno$ started the show bounding from the back of the stage, to actually get the party started. People were pumped, reciting every word and giving off an infectious energy. By song two, the competition bbno$ started between Sydney and Melbourne reached a new level with audience members raising their hands moving along to the rhythm of Black Eyed Peas and Bad Boy. The visuals throughout the night complimented the show, enhancing the feel of each song, both by the addition of lyrics or symbols that matched what what being said. It was great to see an artist take on what they were singing and putting in every effort to emphasise certain feels within each song, something bbno$ did really well throughout the set. Asking the crowd who had attended one of his shows before, he then mentioned he was going to give a cookbook, Vegan Snacks, to “whoever goes the hardest”. Reading out from said book, the crowd was loving every minute of this culinary delight we called a concert. With every ingredient, said in a way that was almost melodic in itself, the crowd cheered. It was a sight to behold. People cheering for ingredients, something I’d never seen before.
Resume had the crowd chanting along to parts of the song, punctuating their momentum with each word from the chorus. bbno$ didn’t have to do much to get the crowd moving in this track, even though it was suggested that he wanted the audience jumping during this part. It was so epic, at one point I was actually concerned for the floor, but decided to just enjoy the moment and jump along. Resume also showcased the performers stellar skills as a singer, encapsulating the feel from what we’ve come to love from his music, but adding that extra flair that comes from a live show, like taking up the form of a basketballer when he sings, “Swish from a three point, boom”. I said it before, but we were actually partying with bbno$. The singer obviously responded to the emotion in the room by saying he wasn’t sure what it is out here, that it must be the water out here. The energy was electric. At this point the crowd asked the artist to do a shoey, to which he responded that he was six months sober, a statement that was met with cheers by the audience. The musician also shared some details surrounding his sobriety, talking about his late Gran and her cider, ending the thought with “make some fucking noise if you love your family.” A more demure moment was found with help herself, where he spoke about heartbreak, asking the audience to sway with him. However the audience still responded with energy to this track, singing at times louder than bbno$ and clapping just before and during the chorus and adding their own sped up beat to the track. Something that made the room buzz.
Then came the veggies. bbno$ started bringing out the greens, cucumbers, leeks and peppers, sharing them with the delighted crowd. Seeing leek fly over the tops of peoples heads, was a sight. Teletubbie like characters came on stage and began dancing with the musician and his DJ before launching into edamame after instructing the audience to put their hands up. The opening notes sent fans into a tizzy, knowing exactly what was coming. It was interesting to see this track performed in a live setting, as it’s a collaboration with Rich Brian. In the parts where Brian usually comes in, bbno$ worked off the audience having them repeat certain phrases and words. A technique that worked really well, as it kept the crowd pumped throughout. The one thing I will say is that the lights were a bit too low here. A spot would have worked well. Because bbno$ is so animated in his movements, the lighting from the screens created the look of a silhouette, which was visually interesting, but a spot would have served well too.
yoga fed off that energy, working through to nursery. The beat driving the feel of these tracks, again people interacting with the specific words as the beat informing the mood of the moment. What was great within this show was the addition of interludes from other artists, like What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes, music that people enjoy, clearly much like bbno$. Later on he even started clapping leading people into the always popular Untouched by The Veronicas. He then asks who would like to join him on stage to sing Yung Gravy’s verses in the next three tracks Whip A Tesla, shining on my ex and Welcome to Chills asking, “who knows all of Yung Gravy’s lyrics?” An audience member named Zack rose to the occasion, even taking his phone out to record the unbelievable moment.
Then came the mention of new music, that being Top Gun. Even though people didn’t know the lyrics, that didn’t stop people from interacting by chanting “hey, hey, hey”, hyping bbno$ up. He then talks about the video clip, how he was hanging out the window of a drifting car going 120km/hr, detailing that he “green sticked” his arm, and shared that the album is due for release on October 21st. Introducing Mathematics with actual addition problems, the Aussie audience rose to the maths quiz and aced each equation. Throughout the night the visuals implemented vibrant colours to help keep the mood upbeat and happy, and often played on pop culture, using visuals to animate the song. The feel of the night was almost that of a festival vibe. You could see this show translating into that sphere, which would go off.
In an epic moment, the musician started crowd surfing during Pogo. Ending by saying he hadn’t crowd surfed in three years but that “that shit was fun as hell”. Throughout the night he would thank the audience for coming along, it genuinely felt like he was so grateful to have the connection he has with his fans. He then segued into lalala introducing it with a charming story, referencing Legolas, perfectly working into the opening lyrics of the track. This song had everyone singing along again, bringing that energy up again. At one point he brings attention to the mosh pit, asking people to make room and to be safe. At this point it appeared as if the show was about to end, having introduced the next mix as the last song of the night, that being a compilation of Ding Dong Song remix, Boom, Boom, Boom, Axel F and Better Off Alone. However, bbno$ came back on stage for one last track, a song he hadn’t performed in a while, Sriracha. He worked his way to the front barricade, jumping on it to sing the last parts with the audience.
Throughout the night bbno$ played around with acapella, rap and even scales, showing off his repertoire and dynamic musicianship. Also fitting within the Aussie scope of both the style in which he sings and certain characteristics. There were moments where you could see the musician taking it in, almost like he was listening to the audience sing back to him. Moments of reflection and moments where he would sit on the stage, grounding himself in the moment. At one point he became a conductor by using his arms to change up the levels of the audience whooping in unison like a choir. The night was laced with fun moments that created great connections with his fans. The theme seemed to be that of family. We were all there for the same reason, sharing in something we have in common. Ending the show by sharing, “It has been an absolute fucking blessing and I promise you right now I will be coming back very fucking shortly so when I’m back I expect every single fucking one of you guys there, I love you guys thank you so much”. He performed so well, maybe even surpassing his recorded content. I’m going to say, you have to see bbno$ live. It’s an experience that elevates what we hear from his recordings.
Images: Vasili Papathanasopoulos.