Splendour Sideshow Review: Azealia Banks + Ivan Ooze - Prince Bandroom, Melbourne (26.07.15)

Recently Azealia Banks claimed that Australians are a “terrible crowd to play for,” but this statement starkly contrasts the atmosphere at her Splendour in The Grass sideshow in Melbourne on Sunday night.

In all fairness, Melbourne doesn’t have the best relationship with Azealia Banks. At Listen Out in 2013 she lasted a whopping 90 seconds on stage before a crowd-member pelted a can at her head and she pulled her set. Contrary to this, the audience on Sunday night were courteous and respectful, even when Banks was nearly half an hour late.

Perhaps the positive attitude had something to do with Melbourne local Ivan Ooze rocking his support slot like it was his own show. Recent mixtape Social Alien provided the juice for an impressive half-hour of high-energy hip-hop and by the end of his set the crowd were well and truly hyped for Banks.

Despite the delay (and lack of apology), the energy quickly lifted back up to where Ooze left it as Banks graced the stage. She fittingly opened her set with ‘Idle Delilah’, the first track off her debut album Broke With Expensive Taste. The song allows Banks to display her vocal talent as well as her ability to spit faster than appears humanly possible.

Broke With Expensive Taste would have described most of the crowd at the gig, or at least they would’ve been after paying $70 for a ticket. It was the dedicated fans that forked out the money, which meant a set list including older tracks like ‘Liquorice’ and ‘1991’ went down a treat.

Banks definitely made it worthwhile, with her hour-long performance boasting two brilliant dancers who provided incredible backing to Bank’s already-energetic stage presence. Brooding ‘Heavy Metal and Reflective’ was also a highlight with its bass shaking the crowd to their core.

Her last song was unsurprisingly ‘212’. As soon as the distinct “aaaaaayyyooo” snuck into the microphone the Prince Bandroom turned into a sweaty club where everyone heard their favourite song at once and subsequently lost their shit. Banks returned to an ecstatic crowd for an unexpected encore of ‘Yung Rapunxel’ with a megaphone in hand. The song was an intense yet apt ending to the night with punters leaving with a buzz of satisfaction.

Azealia Banks may not like us Aussies that much but hey, we still love her and she keeps coming back right? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯