Ahh, finally. Another one of my greatly anticipated concerts/gigs/entertainment opportunities that have been presented to me this year. With The Kooks kicking off a great start to January and 2018, I was counting down the days until I was back in front of some huge speakers, dancing and singing along to some amazing tunes.
So you can bet I was Pumped with a capital ‘P’, when Sunday the 21st rolled around and my best friend and I made our way into the city. It was a short train ride in, and once we were in Federation Square, the tell tale signs leading to the Australian Open festival entry were in abundance.
The Live Stage festival area only opened at 3, so we had a couple of hours to spare. Considering it’s the Australian Open tennis tournament, we thought we might as well go and watch some tennis, so we spent the remainder of the time we had left flitting between the general practice courts and junior matches, spending most of our time at the most intense female junior match I have ever seen in my life.
Finally, it was 3:00PM, so we made our way over to the Live Stage green. While waiting for my other two best friends to arrive, we chowed down on two packets of hot chips, the best I’ve tasted in a while, and tried not to visibly cringe at the classics that were being absolutely slaughtered on stage by the warm-up act.
And then, Jakubi came on stage.
Now a bit of back story regarding this band. I discovered them I think, three years ago. I was at a local council festival that runs annually, gold coin donation entry. This festival is really small, just a bunch of food stalls, some entertainment, rides and three seperate stages for performances.
Jakubi were the last band to perform and I remember being instantly in love (musically and physically, but that’s irrelevant) with the band. They had the funkiest music ever, the sickest stage performance, and they looked like they were having a really fun time all together.
So it was only natural that I lost all my shit and dragged my friends across the grass to snag a good spot. With criminally over-priced vodka-lime sodas in hand, we boogied for a good hour to Jakubi, sitting on the grass, admiring the form and only slightly roasting in the intense heat.
At the end of their set, there was a couple who performed a few really cool RnB covers, right up my lane, got a few people from the audience to rap, and basically warmed everyone up for Rudimental.
Honestly, we were so lucky we got a good spot while Jakubi were up there, because as soon as they left the stage and the Rudimental graphics came up, everyone was on their feet, surging forward towards the barrier, as expected. So we got up and rushed to the barrier, and while on the side a little, we were in a perfect spot.
I was only slightly disappointed that the whole group wasn’t there, it was mainly the DJ, but I was instantly re-energised when they opened with Rumour Mill, which if you recall from my post about Will Heard, is one of my all time favourite songs to ever exist.
My friends were only slightly embarrassed by how pumped up I got, but they’ve learnt to deal with it.
The whole set was fantastic. Between the stage effects, the incredible dancers who had me wanting to be them the entire time, the insane trumpet player and Rudimental as a whole, it made it worth the heat we endured. At one point there were nearly 100 people up on shoulders, crowd surfers and a dude literally standing on people’s heads and shoulders. The crowd dynamics were just as amazing as what was going on on stage.
The songs varied between Rudimental songs, and a couple of intense crowd pleasers that kept the audience going and hyped between some of their lesser known stuff. They brought out an insane singer, Thandi Phoenix, who provided vocals for some of the songs they have with the likes of Emeli Sande and Ella Eyre featuring on them. She was fantastic, and I’ve already listened to some of her own stuff too.
I had an incredible time at the AO Live Stage. I have to admit, the live performances were the biggest reason as to me going to the tennis, though I suppose I might go to see some more actual tennis next year. Hope you’re all well and you enjoyed this post. There’s quite a lot in store for these next few months, so I’ll be sure to give you guys all the updates.