It’s clear from the get go that tonight’s going to be a messy one. Sydney DJ and fellow Future Music Festival feature GG Magree kicks off, armed with plenty of fail-safe, crowd-pleasing bangers. These include (Crank That) Soulja Boy plus M.I.A.’s Paper Planes, and it’s no surprise that the space rapidly fills up with eager punters.
Offering a particularly in-your-face and infectious brand of thumping rap-rave, the ultra-individual Die Antwoord have clearly amassed a huge throng of diehards. Trak’s trashy club vibe certainly fits the bill. T-shirts sporting the notorious South African group’s mental and totally iconic ‘Zef’ style are dotted throughout the crowd.
Some legitimately terrifying chanting introduces the perpetually masked DJ Hi-Tek. Despite their well-documented recent ‘beef’ with Drake, it’s clear Die Antwoord have no intention of shying away from controversy.
Hi-Tek unleashes with his arguably homophobic verse of Fok Julle Naaiers before the heavily tattooed Ninja and teeny, feisty Yolandi Vi$$er burst out to join him. If you’re able to look past its tastelessness, there’s no doubt it’s a grinding earworm of a tune.
Though it’s Die Antwoord’s shtick to be as disrespectful as possible, ironically it feels like the utterly uncompromising outfit can do no wrong. They conduct us like leaders of a satanic cult; their attempts to disgust and appall simply resulting in shrieks for more.
Ninja yanks the phones out of women’s hands and sticks them down his pants. After our call and response chants of “Ozzie! Ozzie! Ozzie!” with Ninja, Yolandi’s advice to “shut the fuck up” is met with cheers. There’s no doubt Die Antwoord have us eating out of their hand.
While Girl I Want 2 Eat U takes full advantage of Yolandi’s mad harpie shrieks, YouTube hit I Fink U Freeky elicits the biggest response – our shouts of “Jump motherfucker, jump!” thundering in unison.
There’s certainly no energy lacking in tonight’s performance. Yolandi and Ninja pounce, spin and spit rhymes with unrelenting zeal and aggression. They’re accompanied by flashing projections of disturbing fan art and video clip snippets. In short, it’s all rats and dicks. The decorative addition of coloured dildos makes a particularly fun contribution to the highly anticipated Fatty Boom Boom.
Changing into crazier, scanter costumes, Yolandi and Ninja are mirrored by a similarly freaky and frenetic dancer. At times you’d be forgiven for thinking FKA twigs was the anonymous, hooded figure in the white morph suit, given the dancer’s elastic body and phenomenal moves.
In another wonderfully uncomfortable ‘should they go there?’ moment, Yolandi introduces us to the twerking dancer’s “fat, juicy, African arse” before giving it a slap. Don’t try this at home.
Die Antwoord close the show, encore-free, in fitting style; a wooden penis doll revolving across the screen above. Yolandi’s eerie, final chant of “be happy” lingers as we file out of the venue. It’s impossible not to be swept up in the amazingly cartoonish and generally offensive characters these manic rap legends have thrust upon us.
Gallery: Die Antwoord @ Trak Lounge, Melbourne / Photos: Rebecca Houlden