Playing in front of a solid home crowd, Seth Sentry was more than comfortable opening for Public Enemy in Melbourne. The stage banter was quite entertaining. The audience was required to give an air hug to his DJ Benny for doing such a great job. With notable performances of Sentry’s Rappertag and The Waitress Song, where DJ Benny appropriately stated that Sentry needed to buy a new café, The Espy was becoming more alive. His repetition of “Public Enemy number one” reminded us that the main attraction had almost arrived. Sentry concluded his set with his most recent track My Scene and the place was about to erupt.
After a timely changeover, Public Enemy were there. DJ Lord hit the stage, along with Chuck D and Flavor Flav, who were backed by a live band. ‘Aight’ and ‘Yeah boy’ chants began circulating, which led to an outstanding sold-out show that was an unforgettable experience. The vibe occurring around the venue was a perfect fit for a hip hop group of their class.
Explaining that the group were content to be in the “wonderful country of Oz”, the audience knew they were in for a treat. Twenty-five years means a lot of hits, and there were. The moment that Flava Flav revealed his trademark analog clock lead straight into 911 is a Joke. Others included Bring the Noise, Don’t Believe the Hype and Say it Like it Really is.
From inviting audience members to the stage and performing rap battles, to story telling their history from the beginning at Def Jam, Public Enemy are born entertainers. On a sadder note, people close to them such as Chuck Brown and Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch have recently passed away. Fitting tributes to each were involved. They later produced a spectacular performance of the Beastie Boys song No Sleep Till Brooklyn. More superb performances included Can’t Truss It, Miuzi Ways a Ton and He Got Game.
Flava Flav teased the idea of Prince floating around, and only a tease it was. He recently had the fine opportunity to perform with Prince in Sydney. Singing ‘Purple Flav’ instead of Purple Rain hinted more so than ever that there could be a possible appearance; however, there was no more to follow.
When it was time for DJ Lord to have some alone time, the crowd were more than satisfied. Mixing The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army, and Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit built up the energy even more, if it were possible. Public Enemy fulfilled every Australian in the audience when they performed their version of Black is Back, a classic mash-up of Back in Back by AC/DC. They were also greatly appreciative of the support acts, declaring that Australian hip hop has surpassed American hip hop.
An incredible performance of Fight The Power indicated that the show was coming to an end. There was more jamming to be done; however, the show eventually fulfilled everyone’s dream after approximately two hours. Flava Flav and Chuck D, both in their early 50s, were honoured that The Espy was filled to capacity. With new albums due out in June and September this year, there is no stopping them from hip hop music. More albums signify more tours and we can assume Australia will see them again sooner rather than later.