DeAnthony Carlos, more widely known as his stage name GoldLink, returned to Australia/NZ this week to tour his debut studio album At What Cost which dropped a year to this day – 24 March 2017.
I had the honour (and privilege) of witnessing the DC rapper at the humble yet favourite venue of mine, Enmore Theatre on Thursday night – the first of his two Sydney shows (the other being the show’s official after party). Funnily enough, the first announcement of his tour showed his Sydney show being held at the Metro Theatre (not a fave at all of mine) until it sold out – and was upgraded to the Enmore, in the Inner West; where it should have been all along (I’m biased though). Whilst the weather remained cold and wet on Enmore Rd, the energy of his DJ and support act aka hype man, DJ Kidd Marvel emanated from the open doors to the queues outside, seeing everyone busting to get out of the rain and into some cold bevys – myself included.
Just before 9:30PM, with a cider in my hand, the lights dimmed and immediately after, the screens showed an excerpt from the movie, “Belly”, a 1998 crime film directed by music video director (and GOAT), Hype Williams which shows Nas and DMX entering a club. This would eventually play throughout the entirety of his set to accompany his performance.
GoldLink emerges to the intro of ‘Hands on Your Knees’ transitioning to ‘Fall in Love’, his 2016 banger with Ciscero produced by his long-time friend, Kaytranada and trio BADBADNOTGOOD.
By this point, we’re all slowly warming up our muscles trying to save our energy for the remaining set – which all goes out the window anyway when he drops ‘Dark Skin Women’; a personal fave from his second mixtape, “And After That, We Didn’t Talk” allowing the crowd to sing out:
Girl, you’re a star
Come on and dance, baby
And dance, baby
I know it
Fortunately, I would count this as my third time having seen GoldLink on this side of the world with the first being Laneway 2016 and then again a year later for the first Sydney instalment of FOMO 2017. By this point – ‘Crew’ had already dropped as the first single of “At What Cost” in December 2016 – sadly he didn’t perform it at FOMO – wah! Sadly too, his set was almost identical to the one the year before but nevertheless, his upbeat energy remained the same.
Three songs in, I shouted drunkenly to my friend, “I AM ALREADY IMPRESSED” – right before tears formed immediately when hearing the intro for ‘Some Girl’ – GoldLink‘s first collab with Steve Lacy (The Internet) with production also by this same beautiful soul. With everyone knee-deep in the feels, the beat cuts and it’s just GoldLink and us, singing to each other:
Searching for compatibility
Looking for the one that’s right for me
Where do I go?
Where do I find her?
Out of the feels, GoldLink pulls the crowd out and switches it up to play ‘Meditation’, another Kaytranada collab but this time with Jazmine Sullivan on the vocals. His flow perfectly aligning with the Kaytra signature sound; so slick and not missing a beat, I’m wondering how he’s pacing across the stage so quickly – he’s clearly fully versed in this. Whilst we’re still sweating and failing to recover from dancing too much, the beat of ‘Kokamoe Style’ drops to shake whatever we had left – one I only discovered was produced by Sydney’s own, Swindail.
Suddenly, it cuts out and into an array of songs for five minutes; ‘Goosebumps’ by Travis Scott among other popular songs play and here I’m thinking, ‘it’s way too early to be doing a costume change.’ Forgiving him anyway, he plays ‘Herside Story’, re-entering the world of feels and trying not to text anyone you shouldn’t be, he follows up with ‘Late Night’, his song with Masego, the brilliant musician, singer, saxophone player and owner of brilliant hair!
Almost close to the end of his set, you could feel the crowd was eager to hear the song of the Summer (for the two years in a row, in my opinion). So as not to tease us anymore, the Curren$y sampled track, ‘Crew’ drops and so does the crowd, with several circle pits forming all over the dance floor of the beloved Enmore, right before he cuts it – playing it back again – except unlike Kanye, he didn’t play it back four times in a row – like Kanye did with ‘N*ggas in Paris’… haha.
Before he plays it back again though, DJ Kidd Marvel gets on the mic and says:
I got a special announcement…’Crew’ went GOLD in Australia – we got the plaque!
With GoldLink there on stage, smiling and looking stunned AF, he’s presented with the plaque telling the crowd “Ya’ll got me, I’m thrown off now ha ha“. Just as he regains his stage alter ego, he drops ‘Crew’ again for the final time with confetti blown into the air to match. The bonus of the night was that he performed a new song – one he thinks he may never release – with lyrics like, “What’s your name is? What’s your gang sign?” sounding like there’s more heat to come from producer Teddy Walton (or perhaps it was someone else?).
From there, GoldLink plays ‘Same Clothes As Yesterday’ – with me in my intoxicated state, thinking he was still performing – GoldLink disappears from the stage and I’m instantly sad. Partly because he didn’t say goodbye (or at least not that I saw or heard), but also that it was only 10:24PM – marking a rather short 56min show!
Anyway, to cope with my sadness, I squeezed through the crowds to the merch table to see that all the t-shirts were sold out and only [the] vinyls and posters still available – impulsively buying a poster of his “At What Cost” artwork for some reason haha. Later I discovered from BBE (the tour/promo company for GoldLink) through IG DM’s that GoldLink‘s merch this year was something special: “This year, he did one-off pieces, each shirt was a thrift store find…They are insane.”
Gutted I missed out on merch, but now kind of glad I’ve got a poster and a terribly large amount of footage to remember another great tour. Having returned to our shores three years in a row, it’s obvious there’s a lot of love for the DC rapper here, and I’m certain it will only continue to grow for the years to come.
22 March 2018
The Enmore Theatre
*Words and photography by Christine Aukusitino.