Blackbear has had a career that has truly been sparked by his love affair with his fans and their deep connection with his music. While the Florida singer/rapper hasn’t had a commercial radio crossover, when you look at his streaming numbers and his impressive certifications then you can’t deny the presence he’s created.
Returning to Australia for his biggest sold out tour to date, he kicked off the massive run of shows in Brisbane at The Tivoli. Walking out onstage to the opening chords of ‘Chateau’ he had the crowd already at peak frenzy by singing and jumping along with him.
“You feel that energy, for real? he asked the crowd before light hearteningly admitting his intentions for his time down under. “I only came here for three main reasons; to vibe, to fuck shit up and to maybe get someone else pregnant”.
Launching into a setlist that covered all bases, he tackled his whole discography and had his longer term fans feeling well appreciated. From ‘I Miss The Old U’ to ‘Hate My Guts’, ‘Dirty Laundry’ and ‘Deadroses’, the first half of the set had some serious vibes.
His banter with the crowd was candid and real with comments like “this is my favourite song to fuck bitches to” before playing ‘Gucci Linen’ and explaining how ‘Do Re Mi’ is about “being a sick cunt”. He didn’t hold back, and that’s what was so likeable. He was very authentic in every way possible.
With the audio of ‘Nyla’ playing as an interlude, Blackbear quickly left the stage to change shirts and returned to pick up the guitar for a punk-rock inspired section of songs. Playing tracks like ‘Changes’, ‘90210’ and ‘1 Sided Love’, he offered a different vibe which complimented the show well.
Throughout the whole 60 minute show I couldn’t help but become more and more impressed with how in-sync and tight he was with his live band. They really nailed every single aspect and managed to elevate these very versatile songs to a heavier punk energy that the crowd really appreciated.
The big singalong anthems started to come out closer to the end of the set with tracks like ‘Idfc’, ‘Playboy Shit’, ‘Hot Girl Bummer’, ‘Make Daddy Proud’ and ‘Do Re Mi’ creating big singalong’s within the crowd.
After saying goodnight and making a point of saying that he didn’t really have any other songs to play, he still came back to perform ‘Wish U The Best’ and it was an encore that didn’t really feel necessary. He finished the main set on a thriving high note and this encore felt a little too forced.
Opening the show was Chicago newcomer, Alexander 23 who has trekked out to Australia with Blackbear for his first ever shows down under. The alternative pop singer-songwriter definitely brought a different vibe to The Tivoli with a contrasting DIY approach to Blackbear and his sound.
Laying in a similar sonical soundscape to LAUV, he delivered some chilled out vibes with a pulsating feel to them. Playing his recently released tracks like ‘Mars’ and ‘High School’, as well an acoustic cover of ‘Party In The USA’ from Miley Cyrus and a groovy rendition of ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ from Tears For Fears, he showed some versatility within his artistry.
It was a really good introduction to who he is as an artist and will hopefully create some local buzz for him so he can return and deliver a longer set.
Check out the full gallery captured by Kirsten Roe Photography BELOW;
Photos by Kirsten Roe
Blackbear Australian Tour Dates
Wednesday 8 January – 170 Russell, Melbourne *SOLD OUT*
Thursday 9 January – The Metro Theatre, Sydney *SOLD OUT*