Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Concert review: Danny Brown, Powerstation

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Danny Brown's incendiary rhyme skills still shone through the rust.
Danny Brown's incendiary rhyme skills still shone through the rust.

With only a scattershot of guest verses and a handful of live shows in the past 12 months, he was always going to be a bit rusty. And so it proved, with skipped lyrics, messed up choruses and quite a bit of confused banter with his DJ.

At one point during Danny Brown's first headlining New Zealand show, the Michigan MC owned up to the fact he "couldn't remember the second verse" to one of his most well known songs Kush Coma, admitting he felt like he'd smoked a little too much of his favoured strain of weed.

Brown at least looked every inch the part, arriving on the Powerstation stage with gold chains dangling over a leather jacket, his sunglasses reflecting a bourbon glass held in one hand while he greeted his up-for-it fans by cackling into the microphone in the other.

His chaotic attitude to live shows sort of suits him - Brown's wild hair, rock star 'tude and frenzied rapping style comes on like a hip-hop speedball, especially during the set's more frenetic moments - the sick sex anthem Break It or the chest beater Dope Song.

And Brown's certainly not short of charisma: his chipmunk rhymes, glinted smile and bonkers dance moves pitch him as the Miley Cyrus of hip-hop - especially when he ripped through his "toes on the wall" twerking anthem Express Yourself.

The main problem with last night's show wasn't the lack of polish. Brown's natural energy can push past that on the worst of nights. It was the no-show of promised new material.

Last time Brown was here, his 2014 Laneway performance was a late-afternoon highlight, a blistering performance built on the lazer-sharp rhymes and on point production of his 2013 breakthrough Old.

Two years later, those songs are starting to live up to the album's title, and Brown didn't take the opportunity to showcase anything from a rumoured new album due to drop any month now.

Let's hope that radio silence changes soon, because last night's show needed something to make it feel just a little bit fresher, a touch more relevant. A few more dope songs, perhaps.

* What did you think of the show? Post your comments below.

- NZ Herald

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