GoldLink showcased his self-coined ‘future bounce’ vibe to a sold-out crowd on Tuesday at Melbourne’s Howler.
The crowd was eager, and turned up hours before GoldLink was even set to go on. When GoldLink’s personal DJ, DJ Kidd Marvel, came out to warm up the crowd with classic hip-hop and R&B sing-a-longs, the crowd grew even more eager, until finally the man himself emerged from the side of the stage. Dressed in jeans, a big jacket and a white cap, he must have had his Celsius and Fahrenheit confused as it felt about 40 degrees in the band room. I worried that a man in a heavy jacket couldn’t sustain the kind of high energy show that GoldLink’s music deserves, but after the energetic opening song Bedtime Stories, he lost the jacket, revealing an And1warm-up top (who still rocks And1 gear? What a champ) just in time for Ay Ay. The crowd went crazy for the rapper’s “future bounce” sound, jumping up and down in unison.
Not many can party like GoldLink. His show had everything: raps, singing, DJing – even a Craig David dance break. Fair to say, the gig was not what I expected, but I loved it. GoldLink clearly loves to perform and he held nothing back, often needing to take a moment between songs to catch his breath.
About halfway through the show, DJ Kidd Marvel gave GoldLink a little vocal break and let him have good dance, busting out Craig David’s Fill Me In followed by 50 Cent’s 21 Questions, and then one for all the Beliebers, as GoldLink had said that there would be a lot of “new Bieber fans in the crowd.” It was the first hip-hop gig I have been to with a Craig David and Justin Bieber dance break – and I didn’t hate it.
Listening to GoldLink in my truck is one thing; hearing the man live is quite another. Seeing the emotion he puts into each song was not something I expected, but was spectacular and surprising. After performing New Black, he took a moment to tell the crowd that it was hard to get through some of his songs because they are emotional to him – his stories cover everything from absent fathers to lost lovers. In New Black, he says “Hip-hop will die, I promise that/ If we keep the lies in our raps,” meaning he keeps it 100% in his raps. But when he launched straight into crowd favourite, Spectrum, he didn’t sound like he was struggling with anything.
I think if he had the back-catalogue to last through the night, he would have happily gone on performing well after most of us had to head to work the next morning. His energy was well-received by the crowd, who matched every head nod, every bounce and every lyric.
Apart from his own “future bounce” vibe, GoldLink’s live show mixes the smoothness of Craig David with the hardness of Joey Bada$$ and the lyricism of Twista. He is a three piece rap group rolled into one guy – he goes from a hard, fast paced verse, to a slow, smooth hook, and back again with ease. He jumps all across the genre spectrum, but nothing is awkward or out of place.
GoldLink is at the start of his career, and with two albums under his belt and all his unshakeable energy, he certainly has the potential to be a big artist selling out high energy shows. His performance was amazing and he hosted a great party atmosphere, creating the illusion of Saturday on a regular Tuesday school night.
Image via Hive Society