“You know how there are just some artists that you just really want to be mates with? Yeah, Rich Brian is totally one of them”- my friend while waiting in the line 3 hours before doors opened.
19-year-old Indonesian rapper Brian Imanuel aka Rich Brian has released his second album 'The Sailor', and was back in Sydney on Saturday to bring the heat right off the back of 88rising's 'Head in the Clouds' festival in LA. This tour, named after the new album, had him singing songs from the release, ranging from sad ballads to fiery raps, with the content coming from his life experiences and staying true to himself.
The concert opened with supporting act Triple One, a self-described 'hip-hop/hardcore' rap group from Sydney's Inner West. The group’s DJ played a few classic bangers and soon after the rest of the group came on stage with undeniable energy. They did a few covers before launching into their own songs which had some amazing beats and creative lyrics. Despite most of the crowd looking confused at best and being vocally impatient at worst, the group continued to thank everyone who had come out and were super hyped the whole way through. Triple One’s music wasn’t bad by any means; the crowd just wasn’t here to see them.
DJ Don Krez then came on stage after a slightly awkward waiting period during which the water/towel guy got his 5 seconds of fame. Krez played some of rap’s biggest hits right now before reminding the crowd of who they were there to see, blasting some of 88rising’s most popular tracks that Brian featured in. It was also around this time that the crowd was encouraged to mosh, much to the fear of every short girl. Moving like a wave, people pushed to the front before the room then went black and a giant screen showed a clip from ‘The Sailor’, zooming in on an eye in a loop before Rich Brian himself finally came out.
The crowd went wild. Opening strong with the intense, explicit, and slightly angsty ‘Rapapapa’, the lights, the screen behind Krez, and Brian’s energy sent a shockwave from the stage and reset everyone’s hype batteries to 100%. He sounded exactly like the recorded tracks but even better, charging through the 88rising classic ‘History’ and his new Summer fire ‘100 Degrees’. The vibe slowed down with the sadboi song ‘Drive Safe’ and acoustic ‘Curious’ as Brian sat down and asked the crowd to wave around the flashlights on our phones. The energy didn’t subside, though, as he said he wanted to go back to the beginning. ‘Dat $tick’s iconic intro came on. Being the song that made him go viral, it was no exaggeration to say that everyone was screaming the chorus as loud as they could. One concert goer was even dressed as Brian in the original music video - pink polo shirt and all.