Genesis Owusu. That’s it. That’s the sentence. There’s not a lot more I can say than Genesis – mother fucking – Owusu. That’s genuinely the thought process of everyone as they left The Tivoli over the weekend from witnessing his energetically charged live show.
After having a breakout year that saw the Ghanian-Australian artist winning Album Of The Year with his critically acclaimed debut record ‘Smiling With No Teeth’ at the Aria Awards, and completing a sold out tour that is still my favourite live show of 2021, Owusu is ready to keep that trajectory going as we enter 2022.
‘The Black Dog Band Tour’ is his first tour with a live band, but it honestly felt like they had been playing together for a lifetime. Nothing about this show felt like a “first live band tour”. From the moment they opened with ‘CBR Zoo 2’ and ‘The Other Black Dog’ drowned in red strobe lights, they commanded the audience’s attention with their incredible musicianship, and the theatrical tailoring of the show. As three banners rose down at the back of the stage, there was no stopping the explosion of energy that followed with ‘WUTD’, ‘Waitin’ On Ya’, ‘Gold Chains’ and ‘Whip Cracker’ being early favourites in the set.
Every track he performed felt like a hit, and that was because the execution in the delivery was there. The way the crowd reacted to a song like ‘I Don’t See Colour’ was the same to a song like ‘Don’t Need You’ or ‘Drown’. As he was introducing ‘A Song About Fishing’ he controversially revealed, “I’ve never actually been fishing before” which had the crowd having a little giggle. His interaction was short but hyped as he had them screaming along to anything he asked them to do, and moments like the harmonious ‘No Looking Back’ felt like an extra special warm hug. Closing out the show with ‘Good Times’ and his triple j Like A Version cover of the Sex Pistols ‘Anarchy in The U.K’, he definitely left the crowd on a high.
The 75 minute show was a fast paced and highly energetic snapshot of his career to date. There was the perfect mix of theatrics that impressed audiences on the last tour, with the pure musicianship that drove this shows wow factor. It was a first class hip-hop show that bridged the gap between rock and pop and left audiences even more in love with him, which didn’t feel possible, but it was. And if there was anyone in that room who had never heard of him before, then they definitely became a fan for life that night.
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Photos by Richard Boltron