GoldLink Showed Sydney He Is Not Your Average Rapper

The 5 to 9 Life team has already had the exciting opportunities of reviewing more than a handful of live gigs in 2016 thanks to the local and international acts that have been in town for such events as Falls Festival, Twilight at Taronga and Laneway Festival. From the latter, we've caught The Internet and Vince Staples perform intimate shows in Sydney, and now we have a review of the highly anticipated sold-out Goldlink show that occurred last Friday night. Read on for the review. Words and photography by Jared Rohan. Cover photo (above) by Behind the Front.

Goldlink - Live in Sydney

Virginia native, Goldlink is not your average rapper.

He joins a list of young MC’s to have performed in Sydney over the past few months offering something unexpected each in their own unique way.

Music can take on a new life when performed live. Last year, Sydney experienced the explosive performance of Mississippi artist Big Krit who was, in a word, vicious, as well as Washington D.C artist Oddisee break the mould of a stereotypical rapper.

As part of Laneway Festival sideshows, we saw Vince Staples, half comedian/half provocative MC, ignite Max Watts formerly known as The Hordern Pavillion recently. If you’re on the fence about any of these artists for any reason, seeing them live will make you a fan.

The night began with DJ Kidd MarvelGoldink’s DJ who warmed up the crowd with a mix of current hip hop and future beats favourites including a crowd chant along rendition of Drake’s ‘Know Yourself’. Despite the sound technical difficulties, the Oxford Art Factory was ready to burst in high anticipation of Goldlink’s late appearance on stage.

Starting off with a number of up tempo cuts from his “God Complex” album including ‘Bedtime Story’, ‘AY AY’, and ‘Planet Paradise’; Goldlink was met with the same level of energy from the audience singing along to the hooks as he asked us to party with him.

Goldlink - Live in Sydney_2

Next up was a brief intermission from his own material where he and his DJ played a medley of songs from an interesting mix of artists including ‘Creep’ by TLC, ‘This Is How We Do It’ by Montell Jordan, ‘Fill Me in’ by Craig David, and ‘Sorry’ By Justin Bieber amongst others. I’ve seen this done before, but this stood out to me as Goldlink and DJ Kidd Marvel partied and sung along to all of the above as much as anyone in the crowd.

This intermission felt like he was bridging the gap between himself and his younger and older fanbases. Every song had one thing in common, with each beat fit in to work alongside his signature sound saving the final meteoric classic ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana. This brought a smile to my face to watch such a young crowd that may not have much of an attachment to some of these songs, immerse themselves word for word, caught up in the moment.

On with the show. A couple of my personal favourites from his superb new album
And After That We Didn’t Talk”
, ‘After You Left’ and ‘Zipporah’ do not have as much instant appeal as ‘Dance On Me’, however, to me they display Goldlink evolving. I’m not sure if he’s getting as much credit as he should for his clever and personal lyrics.

Rounding out the evening with new tracks showing off the infectious hooks and melodies we’re accustomed to, with the breezy ‘Palm Trees’, and ‘Unique’, although unfortunately on the latter, we only got to hear Anderson.Paaks’ chorus and not the whole song.

The crowd was rewarded with an encore of ‘Dance on Me’ which started off slowly but builds into the break beats and fast rapping we’re used to, while he raps about a special young lady.

With this much energy and enthusiasm put into a live show – and two stellar albums to date – the future is bright for Goldlink. Not your average rapper indeed.

Captured by BCS Imaging
Captured by BCS Imaging

*Words by Jared Rohan
*Photography by Jared Rohan (unless otherwise noted)

Friday 12 February 2016
Oxford Art Factory