A$AP Rocky Show Review – Sydney – Horden Pavilion

A$AP Rocky - Horden Pavillion - 25/02/2016 - images via True Too/Shak Sumra
A$AP Rocky - Horden Pavillion - 25/02/2016 - images via True Too/Shak Sumra

Sydney, Australia’s Horden Pavillion was sold out on Thursday night, the 25th of February. The all-ages crowd flocked to see the Lord himself. No this wasn’t a Joel Osteen church convention, it was Lord Pretty Flacko aka A$AP Rocky’s first show in Australia in almost 3 years. Rocky brought along Atlanta wonder-kid Raury as well as fellow A$AP members A$AP Twelvy and A$AP Nast for extra hype. Rocky, still riding the wave of success from his 2015 release AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP, spent the latter part of the year on tour with Tyler The Creator.

The venue itself is a perfect stomping ground for a rapper like Rocky to perform. With a large open level area containing upper level seats not exceeding 15 rows, the venue, in other words, was mosh pit heaven. There was a sense of nervousness in the building surrounding the fact that Rocky got “assaulted” a night before in Auckland, New Zealand after a show. “Could it hinder his performance tonight? Will he even be able to make it tonight?” Flacko put all worries to rest with this classic tweet.

It was 8:15pm and 19-year-old Raury started the show with youthful, buoyant energy. It was quite clear from the beginning most of the crowd didn’t come for Raury but he almost forced them to vibe to his infectious energy. Playing hits from his debut album All We Need like “CPU,” “Crystal Express” and “Trap Tears,” he contorted his body to the music as if it was straight out of So You Think You Can Dance. Of course, Raury closed with a bang by playing one of the most hyped songs in his repertoire, “Devil’s Whisper.”

The supporting act readied the crowd for the long awaited return of Lord Pretty Flacko, opening with “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2.” All it took was 1 song to turn the energy level from an average 5/10 to a strong 9 (and that’s no knock on Raury). Purple took over the stage (this instantly reminded me of his 2013 Sydney Show where the stage was completely purple) while performing classic A$AP songs that were all easy to vibe to.

Flacko took a minute to shout out fellow rapper Tyler The Creator and addressed him being “banned” in Australia, followed by a “BRING TYLER” chant and even a freestyle over Tyler’s “Yonkers” beat. This was truly an incredible moment, at that very point in time it was Rocky’s moment, it was his spotlight, his international tour but he dedicated that moment to his homie. In another act of Rocky’s generosity he gave up more of his limited set time to let Raury perform an acoustic rendition of “LSD” straight after Rocky performed the original version.

A scuffle broke out in the crowd so Rocky took a page straight from Kendrick’s book (see “I”) to keep peace. He gave a mini speech “Stop fighting, keep the peace, I love you mother fu#$ers” and even brought one of the guys who was fighting on stage. Hits like “Hella Hoes,” “Goldie,” and “M’s” continued to be played, followed by an emotional tribute to friend and A$AP Mob founder A$AP Yams. In one of the strangest moments of the night he switched the vibe up by playing classic hits like House Of Pain’s “Jump Around” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

It seemed like he left his most hyped songs for the final leg of the show. “Pussy Money Weed,” “F*&cking Problems,” “Electric Body” and “Wild For The Night” came in succession. By the time it was all over Rocky left Horden Pavillion a sweat drenched house of sin. The fans weren’t happy with only 1 hour of Rocky time so for an encore he performed his all time classic track “Peso” followed by another tribute to Yams, “Yamborghini High.”

This marked my third time seeing A$AP Rocky perform live and in all honesty I was a little disappointed, although its unfair, it’s hard for me not to compare it to his legendary 2013 Sydney performance. I came in with high hopes expecting to hear the majority of ALLA being performed with high energy but Joe Fox’s absense hurt the show a lot, the once homeless singer was featured 5 times in ALLA and was integral in providing the vibe and waves of the album. All in all it was a dope show, A$AP Rocky is a performer for the ages. #LONGLIVEASAPYAMS

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