Danny Brown @ The Metro Theatre
Danny Brown’s latest stint in Australia has been anything but average with the Detroit rapper not only making headlines for his killer performances at regional festival Groovin’ The Moo but also gearing up a wave of negative press when he refused to credit a Melbourne photographer’s work on Instagram. All controversy aside, the man is a forced to be reckoned with and his final headline show in Sydney was a testament to his freewheeling style and ability to throw one hell of a party.
One of the most interesting parts of Danny Brown’s live performance was his movement rather than sound. Not to detract anything from the actual set – 50 minutes of high-pitched rapid fire verses against bass heavy beats – but his onstage presence did half the work for him. Frantically darting from one side of the stage to the other, limbs flailing and tongues wagging from both the rapper and his acting hype man Zelooperz meant the crowd had no option but to move with them. It would’ve felt out of place to just stand there solemnly with that madness unfolding in front of you. This exhilarating movement was echoed in the audience, who were surprisingly loose for a Tuesday night in the city but unsurprising when you remember who they were seeing.
Danny Brown’s set was dominated by rousing party anthems and characterised by excessive drug talk. Arguably his most known/loved song, Dip, was a highlight of the night that saw the whole crowd bounce in unison while sloppily yelling along to the likes of ‘pure MDMA’, ‘don’t let me into my zone’ and of course ‘if I dip, you dip’. It wasn’t the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard but this artist isn’t about that and it was amazing nonetheless. Smokin & Drinkin, Express Yourself and I Will had the room pumping with raucous energy, whilst Grown Up took things down a notch but still stood tall against the other full throttle tracks.
Following Dip, the rapper promptly left the stage and his DJ took over the reins. It was an odd choice to not have an encore after a fairly short headlining set but made sense when you think about how tightly packed the set already was with everyone’s favourite numbers. Danny Brown is a performer like no other and has a natural, effortless feel to the way he commands attention. Downsizing to the Metro Theatre was a good choice, just reinforcing the existing club vibes that flow through so many of his songs and allowing for a sweatier, more captivating, intimate performance.