Hip-hop duo REMI performed at Howler on Friday night in the first of two sold-out shows in their hometown of Melbourne, in support of their latest release “Divas and Demons.”
As you walk through Howler towards the music room in the back, you begin to feel the anticipation as you approach the entrance. Eventually, the lights dim, the crowd moves closer and closer to the stage and they begin chanting, “REMI! REMI! REMI!”
Remi Kolawole and Justin Smith (Sensible J) opened with ‘Forsaken Man’ and immediately had the crowd dancing and feeling good. After they jammed out, REMI mentioned that the show had “just sold out today” and that’s why they “love playing in their hometown.” And that is why I love seeing bands perform in their hometown. It can feel like you’re at a party chilling with your closest friends and anything can happen. And that is the vibe that the duo generates. They also played ‘Contact Hi’, ‘Outsiders’, and ‘XTC Party’.
Halfway through the show, REMI brought Baro, Tom Scott, and others out on the stage with him. While they were doing their thing, Kolawole was shaking hands with the fans in the front. Kolawole is charming and you can tell that he is up on stage just having a great time doing his thing. Then Baro and REMI performed their collaboration, ‘Hate You’, and got the audience to participate and sing the chorus.
As the night was wrapping up, REMI performed ‘For Good//F.U.B.U’, their collaboration with Sampa the Great, again, getting the crowd to join in and sing Sampa‘s hook. Then Kolawole said, “This is usually the part where you go ‘encore, encore’ but we don’t wanna waste your time, so do you want us to end hard?!” And of course, the crowd went wild. I love the duo’s no-nonsense style.
Kolawole went on to give a shout out to people with depression and mental issues before going into ‘Substance Therapy’. And we all got down and rowdy with REMI. Once the show was over, some of us were still hoping that REMI would perform a few more songs, which didn’t happen, but he did come out after the show to sign autographs and meet fans. I love when artists do this because it’s not something that you see much of anymore, especially when you’re a more established artist and you are selling out shows.
Being at a REMI show truly feels like being part of one big party with old friends, all of whom just want you to have a really good time. If you ever get the chance to see REMI live, be sure to get your tickets early so you don’t miss out!
Words and photography by Krystal Beasley
REMI with support from Tom Scott + Baro
Friday, 16th December 2016