I thought when I arrived right on time for the doors there would be more people waiting but there wasn’t. That’s when I knew this crowd would grow insanely by the time RL Grime came on.
But those late arrivals missed out. Melodownz took the stage straight away with Ill Baz on the decks. On the screen behind there was a bold-coloured drawing of Melodwonz on a low rider bike. He provided the good vibes to get the crowd going. The small crowd that had arrived were enjoying it with a member of the crowd shouting “Avondale!”. Clearly there were some Melo Yelo fans in the house. It was a very good set which he ended well with his recent release PEACE $IGNS, GANG $IGNS.
There was no delay in bringing out the next act. With a quick changeover, Compton-born BUDDY took the stage. Buddy was accompanied by his own DJ Ceddy Ced. The crowd had grown a bit more and it was obvious that some people knew who Buddy was with a sign in the crowd that said WE ❤️ BUDDY on one side and TEAM BUDDY on the other. There’s no doubt that Buddy picked the energy up. He was moving back and fourth across the stage, jumping up and down and even got in the crowd towards the end of his set to have a bit of a mosh. A guy in the crowd even picked him up high and carried him back to the front. At one point he even got the crowd to chant “Go Buddy Go Buddy Go” but he really didn’t need it. The energy was already there. But he did also slow it down at one point to get the small crowd to put their phone lights up in the air. For a small crowd, it was bright and a nice moment shared by an intimate group. I think Buddy gave such a great performance and I’m sure the crowd will agree with me when I say, he needs to come back to NZ again. Baauer took the stage next. There wasn’t really a gap between the acts. It was just flowing straight into the next one. The crowd had really started packing in more at this point and it really put a buzz in the air. This crowd was here to have a good time no matter what. Baauer’s set was full of multi-coloured lighting and strobe to accompany the mixes he was blasting. The mixes included tracks such as Pop Lock N Drop It, Pon de Floor and Lose Control. The Logan Campbell Centre had turned into a club and it felt like I was at a crazy rave. The bass was so loud that I actually thought the building, being quite old, might actually get damaged or collapse. I had earplugs in and that could only just muffle it a bit. But there’s no doubt that if you wanted to dance hard, this point of the night was building for you.
Finally came time for a break. This gave time for more people to arrive, people to go to the bathroom, get drinks and prepare for RL Grime. People were so excited about his set but that was no surprise as these are some of the first shows he has done since releasing his album NOVA. I even had 1 fan tell me he head people in America messaging him to get them merch. As soon as the room went dark and his set started, people rushed in to get amongst it. The floor was packed and it was very hot. But this didn’t slow people down with some guys losing their shirts and people using the farther edges of the room to really show off their dance moves. The bass continued to freak me out a bit. But with the crazy lighting, strobe, streamers, smoke and confetti, it was definitely a spectacle. I feel like the images speak better than my description probably will but it was a very crazy night which I’m sure that NZ crowd would love to do again.
– Reviewed and Photographed by Shelley Te Haara