by Andy Nguyen.
📍: The Gov
It’s hard to know what to expect from a Thundamentals live show — especially when your biggest exposure to them was their infamous Like A Version of Matt Corby’s Brother back in 2012.
However, as an amateur listener of hip hop, I was ready to be surprised.
And surprise they fucking did — because they actually did perform their tear-jerking rendition of Brother. I really didn’t expect to feel so nostalgic and emotional at a hip-hop concert.
Having been around for almost a decade, the hip-hop veterans showcased crowd favourites fromtheir 4 studio albums, including their latest release, Everyone We Know.
Ranging from their indie staple Paint The Town Red, to their groovy new ode to feel-good ditty Sally, MCs Tuka and Jeswon were always bouncing off the walls and reminding us to look after our mates. From start to finish, the performance was very energetic so much so, that the crowd couldn’t help but follow their lead: the whole room was having a bit of a boogie to the beats.
The setlist felt very connected in the way that it flowed from one song to the next — often alluding to some prominent themes: racism, privilege and even pacifism. Admittedly though, the impact of some of the messages was often lost in the chaotic atmosphere. Trying to coordinate 3 vocalists, a trumpet and backing music into 1 harmonious tune is no easy feat, and so it sometimes felt like everything was a bit muddled.
Nonetheless — the overall message was loud and clear: just don’t be a dick.
That’s a particularly comforting message when you’re very much unaccustomed to this genre. Learning to chuck your hand/fist/peace sign in the air and bopping along was one of many uniting moments of this concert. It was an inclusive setting with music that anyone could dance along to, and this was clear from the diverse crowd.
What makes Thundamentals so alluring is their ‘spread love, not hate’ mentality. At times, their incredibly catchy and dance-inducing can be passed of as “another 3 minute indie song for the radio”. But at the same time, this is also the reason why they remain to be such a strong, dominant force in the Australian hip-hop industry. They make key messages accessible to large groups and do so in an engaging manner, yielding, sense of positivity about shit situations. And I think it’s this vibe that their loyal, committed fan base cling onto.
Thundamental’s fourth studio album, ‘Everyone We Know’, is out now on iTunes and in all good record stores.