It’s often been said that touring involves a lot of what’s known as “hurrying up to wait.” You get through load-in and soundcheck in the afternoon, only to not be seen until hours later. Exactly why some acts think that gig attendees deserve to go through the same thing truly boggles the mind – after all, here we are; on time and ready to get the party started.
Sure, it’s a Sunday, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had – especially when the DJ is lining up banger after banger. Move That Dope, Dip and Sweatpants all rile the Enmore crowd up… so much so, the scheduled start time of 8:30 slides by without anyone noticing. Eventually, after a few awkward run-ons between various staff, the lights go down a shade after 9pm. The PA blares and a huge “YEAHHHHH” is exalted from the shadows. The crowd loses its mind.
Naturally, Action Bronson is not here… not yet, at least. In his place is Meyhem Lauren, one of Bronson’s longtime friends and a big part of his entourage and crew. Despite arriving late, the crowd up front shows him plenty of love as he takes on a particularly-aggressive approach to boom-bap with a distinct 90s flavour. Just as he’s getting into the groove of things, however, it’s a “thank you” and a prompt exit on stage right.
The mood simmers whilst the DJ-less music playlist returns with the conclusion of every song met with another faithful few starting up either an “ACT-ION” or “BRON-SON” chant, which subsequently die down as soon as the next song starts. Waiting for Action Bronson has become Waiting for Godot.
And then, it happens. The lights go down, the DJ returns to his perch and, lo and behold, the bearded messiah cometh, launching directly into Mr. Wonderful‘s intro, Brand New Car. The fervency and hysteria that follows is both overwhelming and understandable – after all, hurrying up to wait has to have its payoff somehow. All is now forgiven by the crowd at large.
The response is deafening – every chorus is barked back in Bronson’s face, every joint snuck in past security goes up in flames and every kid that has been waiting for hours to go H.A.M. with Bam Bam gets ample opportunity to do just that.
Bronson storms about the stage, bashing water bottles against his head and stopping the intros to tracks more than once in order to make sure his presence is felt. Bronson giveth and Bronson taketh away. He’s more than aware of the power he wields, and he makes every moment he has with the crowd count. Actin’ Crazy has the audience doing just that, Strictly 4 My Jeeps gets a mosh-pit started and Baby Blue encourages the loudest sing-along of the entire night, complete with a Just a Friend outro.
So, can an Action Bronson show best be described as “too little, too late”? One can certainly see the arguments to support it – just over an hour on stage, over half an hour behind schedule – but thankfully everything packed into this set is just enough to tide over most of the ill will. The waiting game sucks, but Action Bronson is forever.
Action Bronson’s Australian tour ends this Tuesday, March 15th in Melbourne. Grab tickets to The Forum gig, here.
Gallery shot by Liam Cameron