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Australian audiences have had a roller coaster of a week. A stage crashing fan in Sydney was shown who’s boss last week, copping a beating from Earl Sweatshirt and Trash Talk’s Garrett when he rushed the boys mid-song. We were given a better rap after our efforts at Splendour in the Grass, with authorities and organisers praising festival goers and proving one bad egg doesn’t have to rot the whole barrel. A sentiment it would appear not shared by Azealia Banks. In case you missed it, the rapper and magnet for controversy labelling Aussies “terrible crowds,” “violent” and “belligerent”, before calling Splendour “a waste of my f**king time”. I took it personally.
If there was ever a time live music fans needed a pick-me-up, it was last night, our heads hung in shame for being called out on the global stage. We needed to be reminded that our shores host some of the most wonderful gigs in the world; that our people draw the very best not only because it’s their duty to fans, but because we adore what they do. That we respect talent and artistry, and are music lovers at heart. That despite was Ms Banks may think we are in fact worth the trip.
That reminder came in the form of singer songwriter MØ and special guests Elliphant, gifting us with an electrifying performance at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne’s east. While Elliphant’s bombastic and aggressive set was perhaps better suited to the large stage at Splendour, their job of warming up their first Australian club crowd well achieved. Tracks Love Me Badder, Only Getting Younger and Live Til I Die whipped revellers into a frenzy, just in time for the main act.
And there she was. The tiny songstress with the heavenly voice held nothing back, treating the crowd to a perfect set. With her dreamy, airy voice that is equally as powerful as it is stunning, MØ could be forgiven for letting the voice do the talking, so to speak. But not this chick. She was full of energy reminiscent of an early ’90s Gwen Stefani, made modern with the uber cool electro pop beats and in your face delivery. Lovely tracks like Slow Love and Dust Is Gone showed off just how gorgeous her vocals are, while the band smashed us with a tight display of the gutsy instrumental breaks in fan faves like Maiden.
But it was her interaction with the crowd that made the performance truly memorable, and lands MØ on the list of must-see live acts doing the rounds right now. Delivering her intriguing cover of Spice Girls’ Say You’ll Be There and getting down in the crowd during Don’t Wanna Dance was just the beginning. By the end of the night MØ had run through the adoring fans to the very back of the venue, getting up on the bar and dancing with the people in the back. She closed the night with an awesome encore, welcoming Elliphant back to the stage to smash out their collab One More, and closing the night with by crowd surfing her way through Major Lazer’s Lean On, never missing a note.
So Miss Banks, MØ and Elliphant proved you so very wrong last night. Their love for their Australian crowd came back at them twice as hard, and it made for something pretty f**king magical.
Image: MØ Performs In Melbourne, 28.07.15 / Photo: Nikki Williams