Anderson .Paak’s Sydney show proved just how magnetic he is
A couple of days on, and we’re still revelling in the magic of ANDERSON .PAAK’s show at the Hordern Pavilion. Over the years, the Californian multi-instrumentalist has touched many with his unique neo-soul infused hip-hop sound. Currently touring off the back of his latest LP Oxnard., the release is a particularly sentimental one, looking to influences from Anderson .Paak’s hometown.
Sweaty, energetic and influential are some of the things that come to mind when describing what went down at .Paak’s mid week romp. After a huge Australian tour, visiting some of our most scenic stages as part of this year’s Falls Festival, .Paak brought the same level of energy and charisma to the Sydney leg as you’d expect to feel at his debut show.
From the moment he took to the stage, it was dynamic. Touring with The Free Nationals, there’s so much that you could say about the various elements that .Paak brought to the stage. Setting the scene with a giant sheer screen, much like the one debuted by Flying Lotus’ epic 3D show ‘Layer 3’, there was a sense of excitement waving across the crowd. Backlit with blistering orange light, and rolling percussion, Anderson .Paak had an incredible presence on stage – people were hooked from the second he launched into the opening track ‘The Chase’. Visceral elements like giant flames and trippy visuals all worked in conjunction with .Paak’s compelling energy.
Throughout the show, he married all the elements of music that inspire him effortlessly. And if like me you weren’t fully aware of his full abilities, you’ll be blown away by him in the flesh. .Paak sings with a voice as smooth as molasses, whilst smashing out killer, off kilter drum beats. Not to mention coming in with intermittent lines of rap on the off beat too.
For someone that doesn’t know much about percussion, that may not sound super impressive, but we can assure you that from a technical point of view, that’s not only extremely hard – but to look as cool as ice while you do it is something else. We’re just saying that Andre 3000 better watch his back, because Anderson .Paak’s stage presence is probably among the coolest we’ve seen.
Anderson .Paak demonstrated his ability as an artist by investing a lot in in establishing a connection with his fans. He truly bared his soul on stage, taking the audience through moments of light and shade to reveal rare moments of honest vulnerability. Despite some cheesy elements, the stage show goes off because he thoughtfully takes punters on a journey through all of his influences. Displaying an array of his own musical styles; such as hip-hop with his bop ‘Tints’ with KENDRICK LAMAR, dance classics such as ‘Glowed Up’ with KAYTRANDA to his neo-soul singles like ‘Heart Don’t Stand A Chance.’ It’s always nice to see some music with heart float to the mainstream, and he definitely has a whole lot.
The finally touching moment came during the encore when Anderson .Paak went on to talk about his friendship with recently passed rap legend Mac Miller. With the sprinkle of sparkling confetti, .Paak went on to perform ‘Dang’ – a poignant way to celebrate the night and the life of his late friend.
Are we hanging out for him to tour again? YES LAWD.
Photo by Tyhe Reading for Purple Sneakers
Words by ROSIE RAE