LIVE REVIEW: Thundamentals at UOW Unibar 2/12/16

Australia hiphop group Thundamentals have enjoyed widespread popularity since the release of their debut self-titled album in 2009, and that popularity clearly hadn’t wavered as they played for an excited crowd at the University of Wollongong UniBar on December 2nd. Supported by Mallrats and PEZ, Thundamentals played a tight, fun and surprisingly emotional show making for a great night.

Mallrat kicked off the night with her infectious synth-pop tunes. The 17 year old Brisbanite recently signed with New World Artists, joining the likes of Grinspoon, King Parrot and The Meeting Tree. Mallrat did a great job warming up the stage for PEZ, who was up second on the night.

PEZ is well-known as a staple of Australian hiphop, making his name on the scene with his debut album ‘A Mind of My Own’ in 2008 with his single ‘The Festival Song’ reaching number 7 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 list. PEZ’s second album, ‘Don’t Look Down’ released on November 4th, was a long time coming, and PEZ addressed this as he took the stage. He spoke about setbacks and insecurities and ultimately overcoming them to release a new album and reconnect with his fans. PEZ kicked off with a new song ‘SOS’ before turning up the mood with ‘Weekend’, a classic Aussie track about letting loose at the end of the week. PEZ is not only a talented musician, but a true performer, with a perfect balance of enthusiasm and professionalism. PEZ ramped up the crowd asking if they were warmed up and ready for Thundamentals, even managing to crowdsurf in the small audience.

Thundamentals made a dramatic entrance, with an impressive light display over a large artwork banner, giving the UniBar more of a theatre feel. Featuring smooth, superfast flow and live trumpet, Thundamentals demonstrated why they’re so popular at the moment. Despite their supercool, popstar vibes, Thundamentals were clearly happy to be performing, sporting big grins as they came on stage. Like PEZ, they weren’t afraid to speak candidly to the crowd about important issues and setbacks they had overcome. ‘Ignorance is Bliss’, released last year as part of their Got Love initiative, looked at white privilege and the treatment of minorities. Their Got Love campaign partners them with the National Centre of Black Excellence, and they took a moment during the show to tell the crowd that the proceeds from some of their merchandise would go to the Centre. These serious moment didn’t dampen the upbeat mood of their gig however, as the performers told people to introduce themselves to whoever was next to them and make friends for the night. Another tender moment came when one of the rappers spoke about his struggles with depression and anxiety, emphatically telling the crowd they were not alone in similar struggles before launching into a number of all new tracks that had their fans dancing all night long.

Thundamentals put on a show that really captured the essence of Australian hiphop – a combination of talented performance, mateship and great vibes.

Dec 9th 2016 | Daisy Loomes

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