It had been a while since Australia had actually got a killer hip hop tour and 2015 finally made it happen. With a lineup of Nelly, B.O.B and Lupe Fiasco you couldn’t really got wrong but surprisingly Nelly wasn’t the star of the show.
As the sun started setting on the picturesque venue which is The Riverstage, Lupe Fiasco ran onto the stage full of energy and prepared the crowd for a fun night. Early in his set he played crowd favourites “Kick, Push”, “Superstar” and a cover of Kanye West’s “Touch The Sky” as well as songs off his new album “Tetsuo & Youth” which is released on January 20. His crowd interaction was commendable and the way he was able to constantly build the energy during his set was impressive”. Having some fun with crowd using simple call and response methods “Brisbane are you ready?”, “Lupe Ain’t Ready” to sustain the crowd’s attention. Before performing “Battle Scars” he made a touching speech, dedicating the song to the victims of recent terrorist acts around the world. Closing with “The Show Goes On” he had the whole crowd eating out of his palm, singing every lyric back to him.
B.O.B is one of the music industry’s most underappreciated rappers. His raw talent and eccentric energy is impressive, the hits he’s had over the past couple of years is massive and his live show is pretty damn great. He won over the crowd early on with his constant interaction and banter which saw him hop on the shoulders of one of his crew and run around the mosh getting up close and personal with fans. The setlist included all of his hits like “Magic”, “Both Of Us”, “Nothin On You”, “So Good” and “Airplanes” as well crowd favourites “Out Of My Mind”, “Ray Bands” and his feature rap from Jessie J’s hit “Price Tag”. He was terrific live performer and someone worth seeing again.
Nelly was the headliner and the biggest name on the bill but his set was the most boring and lackluster. Opening with “Party People” it quickly came apparent we were not going to be able to understand most of what he was going to say with his agro slurred speaking. With a setlist of mainly old school favourites he won over the crowd quickly but lost the audience half way through with his awkward stage presence and fascination of bringing girls on stage which quickly lost the gimmick. The show seemed to have a disjointed flow and had a lot of people heading to the bar and sitting down on the hill. He had the whole crowd singing along to “Hot In Herre”, “Hey Porsche”, “Dilemma” and “Just A Dream” which was enjoyable but other than these standout moments his set was fairly boring. He was the only artist to have a hype man on stage with him which seemed very unnecessary and slightly took the spotlight away from him.
Lupe Fiasco and B.O.B stole the show while Nelly disappointed, but it was still a fun hip hop event that was long overdue for the Australian live music scene.