Lydia Jenkin

Lydia Jenkin is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Concert review: Fatboy Slim, Die Antwoord and Skrillex, Vector Arena

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Musician Fatboy Slim. Photo / Supplied
Musician Fatboy Slim. Photo / Supplied

Vector Arena may not be known as a dance party venue, but on Friday evening with something like 5000 punters all hyped up, it felt like it could've been a London super-club.

With three well loved dance acts on the one bill at this all ages show, this was clearly a much anticipated gig for many of the youngsters in attendance.

With 20 year old up-and-coming American DJ Porter Robinson warming things up from 7pm, by the time Cape Town's zaniest three-piece ensemble Die Antwoord took the stage, the crowd were in party mode.

With the GA section sold out, the mood seemed pretty electric downstairs (and sweaty), and as DJ Hi-Tek powered us through a rap rave set, little energizer bunny Yo-landi Vi$$er and front man Ninja jumped around to their prevocational hit tunes like Beat Boy, Rich Bitch, and latest single I Fink U Freeky.

Rapping and singing in both Afrikaans and English, their energy and entertainment value is always high, and with a large backdrop showing off some of their videos, along with smoke machines in action, by the time they finished their set with their break out track Enter The Ninja, the crowd were well sated, and Ninja was in his boxer shorts, as is his custom.

We didn't witness any nudity like we saw when they played the Big Day Out in 2011, but I was sitting rather far from the stage, so I can't be sure - and I guess it was an all ages show after all.

Californian 24 year old Sonny Moore aka Skrillex has been making a name for himself as a electronica-dubstep-house-hip hop DJ over the past few years, releasing several EPs for free online, and recently winning himself three Grammy Awards. And it was clear that he was the act who the majority of the crowd were there to see.

There were lights and lasers galore, dry ice machines, confetti cannons, and a huge digital backdrop of crazily morphing psychedelic imagery, but Skrillex himself was armed simply with a MacBook, Ableton Live and a few KRKs. That was all he needed to provide an explosive set, with those in the 'seated' sections of the arena on their feet dancing as hard as those downstairs. Shirts off seemed to be the dress code du jour (for guys and girls), as they screamed and jumped and yelled "we love you" multiple times.

He played a lot of material from his latest EP Bangarang, including opening with Breakin A Sweat, which features a cut of The Doors, and Right On Time, The Devil's Den, Kyoto and Summit which features English singer Ellie Goulding - clearly a crowd favourite.

WEEKENDS!! Featuring Sirah was also a top track, a remix of Promise by Nero went down a treat, and by the time he played his remix of Cinema, the audience had pretty well 'lost their shit'.

He's the consummate DJ, reading the crowds energy levels and nuances like an old pro, bringing something fresh to the dance arena, blending a notable amount of hip hop and reggae influence into his set too. Plus he looked like he was having just as much of a party as everyone on the floor.

In contrast, when Norman Cook, better known as Fatboy Slim, took the stage, though he kept the crowd partying and bopping away, his set seemed a little tired. The DJ master who's been at the game for over 30 years still knows how to party like a teenager, clearly having a good time jumping around is his 'dad at a bbq' attire of shorts and shirt, his mix didn't have quite the same intensity as Skrillex.

Merging snatches of his hit tracks like Praise You, Rockafeller Skank, and Right Here Right Now into a mix of house and electronica, and occasionally dubstep, he had many folk feeling a little confused and left wanting, unable to fully embrace the retro hits.

Only hardcore fans and dedicated partiers would've been able to last the full 90 minute set.

But it didn't really matter, as the two previous acts had given the kids everything they wanted.

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