Supafest @ Melbourne Showgrounds
After a significant shift in the original lineup for Supafest, with Missy Elliott and P. Diddy announcing they would no longer be attending, there had been a fair amount of fury buzzing between urban fans in Australia. Regardless, the Melbourne show pulled in a huge crowd and as everyone siphoned through the various checkpoints towards the stage things were a blur of Kobe/Jordan/Garnett jerseys and YMCMB caps.
Big Sean was up first performing his hit A$$ (Waikikiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. Yeah. You know the one…). Throw in I Do It and Marvin & Chardonnay you had a good mix for his first set performed Down Under. Old school classic, Naughty By Nature were up next performing hits like Hip Hop Hooray, Holiday and a special Tupac tribute, which fit in nicely with the recent Hologram performance.
Now steady into the lineup, the crowd began to grow denser. The Ring Bling area was almost filled to capacity when Lupe Fiasco stepped on stage. Outfitted in a matching combat print Adidas tracksuit, rocking mini dreads, his look was conducive to the anti-U.S. Military lyrics he belted in Words I Never Said. Performing his hits like Daydream, Kick Push, Superstar and Out of My Head, the female portion of the crowd still wanted more. After they chanted T-Pain’s Take Ya Shirt Off, Lupe obliged, baring an impressive set of abs and arms while rapping his verse from Touch The Sky. While waiting for Ice Cube, DJ Scratch took the stage. Expert turntablist, he had a very unique style. Unique in that he referred to both his discs as a left and right female leg respectively. Advising the women in the audience that the harder and faster he scratches, the louder they should scream, he ultimately lowered his head toward the middle of his discs and…erm…yeah. You get the picture.
Ultimate rap classic, Ice Cube was up next. Shorter than what I expected, rocking an impressive afro, his presence was nothing to be doubted. His older tracks Check Yo Self and Bow Down sparked a nerve within the hip hop purist crowd, but it was You Can Do It that had the whole audience grinding, thrusting and doing whatever else was necessary to get your back/ass into it. At this stage, we had been standing for a considerable amount of time, and a lot of people were getting restless.
Kelly Rowland however, snapped everyone out of exhaustion with her stunning voice and killer legs. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “She is so hot!” murmured throughout the crowd. The only female performing, she sung Destiny’s Child classics Bug A Boo, Soldier, Jumping and Say My Name. Older solo work like Dilemma made an appearance before moving into her more recent songs with Like This, Love Takes Over and a super sexy rendition of Motivation.
Trey Songz made the girls go wild, as expected. I gave him a five minute window to take his shirt off, which he managed to do with no qualms. Despite some awkward lip biting in Love Faces, Trey’s vocals are on point. I was very impressed with his pitch and control during the live performance. He was followed by T-Pain, who, dare I say it, is actually hilarious. He performed a ton of his (million) songs, shortening them down into thirty second blocks. In between, he joked with the audience about his weight, his ability and his music. Do yourself a favour and YouTube his dance moves and freestyles – they’re gold.
The closing act, and indeed, the most awaited was Chris Brown. Aka Breezy. Aka Wife Beater (according to the girl standing a few metres behind me who insisted on leaving out of respect to Rihanna). His MJ-inspired dance moves are remarkable to watch in the flesh. And his flesh is remarkable to watch in the flesh. I think he took a new shirt off maybe four times, each revealing the amazing ink he has been developing around his chest and arms. He was the only performer to come down to the crowd and dance with them while singing his more upbeat hits like 3X, Forever and Look At Me Now. Throw in his older work like Run It and Wall To Wall he was one of the highlight performers, making the thirty minute shuffle to get out of the Ring Bling area worth it.
BY TAMARA VOGL
LOVED: Kelly Rowland, a Chris Brown's tattoos.
HATED: Standing with no space to move for eight hours.
DRANK: (Not enough) water.