Written By | Hannah Robinson
It was a stormy Wednesday night on the 30th of January but that didn’t stop the crowd from showing up to 170 Russell. The queue filtered inside and down the stairs to the large underground venue, already dim and bathed in red and blue light. The room wasn’t yet full, but a decent crowd had formed for supporting act Kaiit.
Kaiit is a Papua New Guinea born, southeast Melbourne singer-songwriter. At only 20 years old she is impressing the music industry with her captivating voice and meaningful lyrics. As Kaiit began singing her honest track “Duffman” she told everyone “listen to the lyrics because I choose my words wisely” and song after song she proved that fact. Along with her five band members, backing vocalist Jaydean, guitarist Anthony Liddell, keyboardist Adrian Montagnese, drummer Josh Albert and guitarist Mikey Chan, the six entertained the room with their jazz-infused, neo/funk/indie tunes.
Smino arrived to stage about 20 minutes late but the concertgoers seemed happy enough chatting amongst themselves. The American rapper/singer-songwriter who founded musical collective Zero Fatigue, took the stage along with his five piece band, with some extra on stage appearances from friends throughout the set, joining in with dancing and smoking a joint with Smino which they then shared with the audience. The punters happily danced, sang and waved their arms along to each song, even joining together with strangers as Smino instructed them to wrap their arm around the shoulders of the person next to them and sway side to side, which his band came forward to join him for.
Each time a new song started it was clear that it was the favourite of many in the room. Smino flew through his setlist with the likes of cleverly name “Tequila Mockingbird”, the ever so popular “Anita”, a mashup of “Spinz” and “Innamission”, before returning for an encore of “KLINK” after the crowd cheered for “one more song!”
The energy was electric, the crowd had a ball, the band played their hearts out and everyone seemed to leave the venue with a smile on their face. Smino brought friends and strangers together and certainly showed them a great time.