Concert Review: Listen In

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I feel like there’s not too much you could write about Listen In. But let me describe the atmosphere for you, because THAT was something. Being an all ages crowd, it was going to be interesting from the start.

The crowd started off pretty small at first. I would say the range seemed to go from 16+ and definitely more on the lower end of the scale. But they packed in very tightly to the front. They were already a bit hot and sweaty. That just continued to build more and more throughout the night and you could see they were clearly preparing for a fun night ahead. Sadly I missed B Wise set but managed to get inside for Quix.

Quix made it feel a bit like I was at a rock show sometimes because even though he was just standing there DJing some epic tunes, he would head bang and move like he was in a mosh pit. The visuals were pretty good too. It somewhat made the music feel more intense.

The crowd, as young as it was, was pumping. They just had so much energy and the DJ playing in between, Soraya LaPread, kept the crowd going. She played a lot of great tracks that I felt like she should have had her own slot to perform centre stage. It was really good.

A visual of gold chains and fire came across the screens as the next DJ got the crowd a bit more hyped before introducing SKEPTA. He took the stage in a neon green hoodie and got straight into it. He played a lot of well-known tracks, particularly off his album ‘Konnichiwa’. I had to pop out of the arena for a bit and it seems I missed a lot in that time. As when I got back, SKEPTA seemed angry and told everyone to enjoy their night before leaving the stage. I later found out that he had something thrown at him and he didn’t appreciate it. 

The crowd was quite rowdy with people continuously being escorted out by security or having to be helped to St Johns after falling over drunk. 

But A$AP ROCKY took the stage next and the first thing I noticed was the 2 smashed up cars on each side of the stage with crash dummies inside. A message came across the screen TESTING. It then displayed a volume test which I don’t know if the crowd picked up on it. But the stage filled with smoke, visuals lit the screen and A$AP came out, getting straight into the set.

As he moved back and fourth across the stage pyro and C02 fired up into the air, taking the energy to another level. What I also loved about his set is rather than having a DJ, he had a 5-piece live band. Then the visuals just topped it all off. The visuals ranged from lyrics to anime to renaissance paintings. A$AP couldn’t seem to shake the smile from his face, no matter how hard he tried. The crowd was so excited to see him. It felt as though him and the crowd were just feeding off each other’s energy for his whole set. A$AP performed quite a few tracks from his most recent album ‘Testing’ but obviously he couldn’t not play hit big hits such as ‘Wild for the Night’ and ‘F**kin’ Problems’. But honestly I felt like he should have ended the show because that set was insane and I really felt like no one could top it. 

SKRILLEX came out next. He came on earlier than expected as when I went back into the venue he was already playing. Apparently he started off with a haka intro which I thought would have been great as a way of acknowledging the country he was in. During his set he also played ‘Green Light’ by Lorde and the crowd was lit in green lights. Skrillex had a large DJ set up with the recognisabile 3 marks behind him. Similar to the 3 red marks on his album cover for ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’. His set also included C02 and pyro. However it also contained a lot of strobe lighting which was the reason I left just before his set finished. 

As awesome as his mixes and that were I just couldn’t really get into it. It was entertaining watching the crowd move to his music, though the crowd itself had started shrinking down in size as well, from people leaving and heading off to continue their night in the city. There also was no security on the floor that we could see and some of the crowd flowed over the railings and onto the floor. It was quite a high drop so I definitely admired the effort. 

All in all it was a good night and each act definitely put on a good performance. A$AP was definitely the highlight of the night. But I’d say Listen In wasn’t for everyone. Though I’m sure the under 18’s were grateful to experience such a crazy night out.  

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– Reviewed and Photographed by Shelley Te Haara


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