h

Vince Staples proves he's out to take over 2018 with a killer Australian show

Still reeling off the back of the critical waves from his 2017 rave-rap effort Big Fish Theory, Vince Staples shows absolutely no signs of slowing down this year.

After recently being announced as a last minute addition to The xx’s outdoor arena shows, electro-pop prodigy Kucka was granted the tough task of warming up the swarm of hip hop fans packing into the theatre to see Staples. Armed with an MPC and a flurry of synthesisers, Kucka’s lucid stage presence and warped vocals won punters over in no time, with the knee-wobbling sub bass of Flume collab ‘Numb and Getting Colder’ proving to be a crowd favourite.

As the lights dimmed and the stage was basked in an orange glow, the crowd surged to the front as Staple’s silhouette graced the stage to the glitchy boom bap opener ‘Homage.’ With a sparse visual show and the absence of any entourage onstage, Staples managed to captivate the attention of the crowd within minutes, consecutively pairing Big Fish Theory cuts ‘BagBak’ and ‘Big Fish’ early on to roars of approval from the rowdy audience.

While the lack of an onstage DJ gave Vince Staples plenty of room to work across the stage, the Long Beach native occasionally dropped out of visibility as he ventured into the guts of the Forum throughout ‘Prima Donna’ and ‘Birds and the Bees,’ directing the movements of the crowd with his trademark sardonic wit as he went. Upon hearing the chiming opening tones of his Future sampling slapper ‘Senorita,’ the crowd opened in the attempt to start a wide circle pit. However, it seemed no one in attendance had ever actually partaken in a mosh pit before, resulting in one of the most dismally awkward moshes ever seen at a live show. Better luck next time fellas. Next time, just try dancing.

Nevertheless, Staples bounded off the high energy of the bustling punters, bumping out ‘745’ and his 2014 breakthrough track ‘Blue Suede’ in quick succession. Despite her presence onstage only an hour prior, Kucka’s vocals were notably absent on the high octane ‘Yeah Right,’ with Staples leaving the eponymous call-and-response to a hilariously ocker Australian chorus of “boy yeeeaahh right yeeaaah right” from the crowd. Skipping the overdone cliché of the encore, Staples treated the sweat-soaked audience to a tasteful dessert with a bass-heavy rendition of ‘Norf Norf’ before leaving the stage, with the rapturous applause all but confirming that it seems unlikely Vince will play many venues smaller than The Forum again as he continues on his trajectory towards superstardom.

Highlight: The bloke who held a stapler in the air for the entire show.

Lowlight: Incredibly weak moshing.

Crowd Favourite: ‘Big Fish’.