Live Review: Hermitude at the Hordern

Versatility has always been the Hordern Pavilion’s greatest attribute. Originally built to host the Royal Sydney Easter Show, it became a place of many firsts. It heralded the very first Big Day Out (now sadly gone from our festival catalogue) back in the nineties and has continued to play host to some of Australia’s best musical talent. Friday night was no exception, opening its cavernous hallways to the sell-out crowd, there to see electronica/hip-hop duo Hermitude on the Sydney leg of their Sweet Light Dark Night Tour. 

The humid November night proved a sweaty event, with thousands of bodies cramming their way through to the vast, yet inevitably stuffy venue. A thick miasma of sweat and heat built as the anticipation quickly rose.

Hip-hop duo and ARIA nominees The Meeting Tree (Joyride and Raph Lauren) and Kilter, a.k.a, Ned East, both did a fantastic job at warming up the crowd, delivering the precise balance of percussive beats and heady hip-hop ready to get you in the mood for Hermitude.

It wasn’t long before the main act took centre stage. The boys – Luke Dubs and Angus Stuart (aka El Gusto) – brought out a full artillery of live instruments: soundboards, keyboards, hit pads, drum kits, which they both managed to play all at once during points of their performances of Searchlight and Ukiyo. It makes you realise what adept musicians the two of them are and how much their music has developed over the years to create such an inclusive live experience.

Highlight tracks included Get In My Life, which had the crowd screaming out in ecstatic roars and dancing in pulsating jumps. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Hermitude performance without the inclusion of one of their most famous and successful hits HyperParadise (the Flume remix of course), the track that brought them to mainstream acclaim and cemented their status in the Australian music scene. 

Cartridge Kings brought it back to Hermitude’s hip-hop roots and showed off their incredibly deft skills on the turntables, while their Missy Elliott and Kanye remixes had every single crowd member going wild over those familiar loops. And just when you thought the night couldn’t get any better or you couldn’t be more drenched in sweat if you tried, the duo brought out Chaos Emerald for another classic, Speak of the Devil

The guests didn’t stop there; Young Tapz made an appearance for a blistering Through The Roof, the young New Zealander almost bringing down the roof with the high energy performance accompanied by the triumphant sound of trumpets blaring from the speakers behind him. Mataya joined him for The Buzz, along with an entourage of seriously skilled dancers clothed in tight whites with the moves to match.

The show also featured some really cool lighting and imagery, including live shots of the artists playing drum pads, keys and more, which was a really cool addition – especially for an electronic show. The night ended with The Villain. Dubs and Stuart, obviously extremely happy with not only the turnout of the crowd but energy of their dedicated patronage, thanked the crowd earnestly, saying that it was “good to be home” after such a intense touring schedule over the year. 

Check out our review of Dark Night Sweet Light here.

Check out our interview with Hermitude right here.