Words by Eli Marsland
Photos by Alistair Rathbone
Off the back of his major label debut album, Mr Wonderful, Action Bronson returns to Australia. Here’s what went down.
The evening began with Fuck That’s Delicious compadre Mayhem Lauren who bear-stomped his way through features like they were his own. He delved through Bronson Mixtapes such as Blue Chips and Rare Chandeliers before dousing himself with water as he ripped into ‘100mph’ and ‘Silk Shirts & Yellow Gold’ from Silk Pyramids. He rounded out his set with a premiere of new material filled with string-laden luxuriousness- due out on Fools Gold at the end of the month. As a shit-talker and hype man, ‘Laurenivich’ was the perfect entrée to the main course.
A sea of phone screens bubbled to the surface as Action Bronson graced the stage. Fighting some minor technical/structural difficulties, we saw Bronson disappear side of stage to repeat the entrance – he demanded it be done right. One can loosely speculate that a nice wall in the back stage area now has a new hole in it. After some minor corrections what transpired was a hip toss-free set delivered in 3 quarters.
After delivering his first stanza, he announced that he might have ‘broken’ his hand. He carried on to tear through a back catalogue of mixtape favourites without pause- compiling the Best of Blue Chips & Feature Material (9-24-11, The Don’s Cheek). Hand bloodied, Bronson grimaced through the rest of his more well-known material, while constantly vanishing side of stage for ‘ice breaks’. Bronson tore through a medley of 5-8 songs in an effort to highlight his finesse as an MC, however this effort was a little lost on the crowd still hyped up on the buzz of Mr Wonderful.
Fortunately, once Bronson resumed the radio hits, he let the crowd guide him through Baby Blue as his singing lacks somewhat, before smashing out crowd favies Strictly 4 The Jeeps and Terry. In between songs he stood looking out, commanding applause from a full house like a drill sergeant. His set peaked with Easy Rider, the track that solidified Bronson as an icon before returning with an encore that left everyone a little confused.
A large majority of his discography fits well as a vibe-creation mechanism at your late afternoon gathering – music you can play without much conscious listening effort. So when background music hits centre stage as event level rap music, the transition is a rigid one. An example of this is his YouTube samples that litter Blue Chips; they came out sounding like a potato coming through the HD-Surround-Sound Dolby 5.1 body-shaking sound system. Couple that with a freshly broken hand and sore throat, the Bronsilinio we we witnessed at The Forum last night was someone who looked a little exhausted from smoking good, eating better, and lapping the earth.
WHAT THEY SAID
“I can’t take your hand, I’m sorry- My hand is broken”
-Action unfortunately could not perform at his showstopping best due to an earlier ‘incident’ involving a rogue DJ.
WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE