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Gig Review: Hilltop Hoods at The Studio

Studio, The Venue
Friday 1st September

Photographs by Sophia Kent
Words by Louise Morris

Two words can describe Hilltop Hoods: High energy. Throughout their 90-minute set at Studio, the Venue on K Road, they effortlessly captured and engaged with the audience. You didn’t need to know them to have a hell of a time- their catchy lyrics and dynamic performance made the whole experience a night to remember.

Hilltop Hoods are an Adelaide hip-hop group featuring Suffa, MC Pressure and DJ Debris. Regarded as pioneers of Australian hip hop, they have a ‘larrakin style’ feel and talk about the pressures of life and touch upon social issues. Joined with them that evening was the lovely Nyassa, sporting a massive baby pink bow, a matching pillbox hat, and one HELL of a voice, as well as my personal highlight of the evening, the Welly Brass.

As I walked into the venue, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The people entering the gig were vastly different from one another; many older couples mixed in with the younger crowd, already buzzing from alcohol and anticipation. I overheard the start of a heated conversation as I entered the pit, but as quickly as that started, it fizzled out. Bit of an edgy start to the evening. I managed to place myself at the back on an upward slope - an optimal spot to see the stage in amongst the many tall people (note to self: wear taller shoes next time.) It wasn’t until later that I noticed an upper balcony that would have been a prime spot for a shorty like me!

By this time, the venue was starting to fill up and the opening act Freddy Reynold joined the stage. Southside Run It was an instant hit with the crowd, but it really started to take off when he performed a new, unreleased song Vengaboys, suitably titled with the lyrics “we like to party” bouncing around the venue. At this point, it was jammed, but by the time the main act Hilltop Hoods entered, the room was packed like sardines, everyone happily shoulder to shoulder with the next fellow stranger. The group entered the stage, flashing white lights landing on the crowd as they opened with their hit song Leave Me Lonely. All of the anticipation that was simmering in the air exploded!

They jump back in with the next song, The Nosebleed Section, before moving into a mix of their newer singles, including Show Business and A Whole Days Night. When Hilltop Hoods got into Won’t Let You Down, Suffa and MC Pressure got the audience to join in sing along with them to the end. It was a unifying moment for both the crowd and the group. After a solid hour of good times, they exited the stage, leaving the crowd calling for an encore until they came back to perform two more songs. Before the finale song Cosby Sweater, Suffa asked the audience to take off an item of clothing and wave it in the air. Forget the classic match light in the air moment, we’ve got what we’re wearing now!

My personal takes on the entire night:

- 3 Spilled Drinks on my shoulder...the same shoulder... three separate people. (a nice hot shower never felt better!)
- 44 Air Horn Effects in the span of half an hour (that’s 1 and a half horns every minute, could do with more!)
- One Cosby Sweater on my mind for days.