Remember the local gigs you used to go to when you were underage? Where your friend’s brother’s band would play in someone’s garage and you and all your friends thought it was the coolest thing in the world? Tomorrow’s People was similar to that, except the acts playing were up-and-coming artists who’ve all had airtime on Triple J. The crowd was an interesting mix of about forty teenagers and ten adults, probably parents. This made for a weird vibe, but not necessarily a bad night.
Dylan Joel took to the stage first, loosening the crowd up with his interesting style of hip-hop/rap. Joel is quite a good rapper, with an impressive flow and good lyrics. Songs such as ‘Always Fresh’ and ‘Swing’, from his latest album Authentic Lemonade, worked well to warm the audience up. Unfortunately, his efforts to get the small crowd involved felt awkward to me (although some kids were really into it). Teaching two-step and splitting the room to sing probably would’ve worked better with a larger group; here, it just seemed uncomfortable. However, Joel’s musical prowess did redeem the set a lot. His remix of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe’ left the room on a high as we waited for the next act.
Having seen Kilter support Carmada last year, I thought I knew what we were in for. Musically, I was right: tropical electronic that’s easy to dance to, with a mix of exciting original songs and stellar remixes. A man called Tim became the meme of the night, as he played guitar to compliment Kilter’s drums and electronic set up. ‘They Say’ was a crowd favourite, with its fast-paced build and delayed drop catching people out every time.
What I wasn’t expecting was the young girl who enthralled (or amused) the crowd with her dance moves. From rolling across the floor to twerking on strangers, this girl had it all covered. A remix of Hermitude’s ‘Through The Roof’ brought out some interpretive dancing from a group of boys, but that was the closest the crowd came to providing a challenger to the dancing queen.
UV Boi’s slower and deeper electronica was a nice contrast to Kilter’s set, but still kept the energy in the room high. There was no banter with the crowd as he played basically one long uninterrupted set. A remix of Banks’ ‘Beggin for Thread’ was received well, with lots of girls singing along and dancing. The room was full of teenage awkwardness as people tried to figure out when the drop was coming (it seemed like most of them had never really heard UV’s music before). Overall, the set was strong with some great tracks, and the crowd appeared to enjoy it all.
Local girl E^ST closed out the evening, playing a triumphant set to a bunch of her friends and family. Her laughter at the cheers as she began her Like A Version cover of The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ showed how humbled she really was to be performing for a hometown crowd, no matter how small it was. At only 18, her voice and stage presence are developed well beyond her years. ‘Monster’ and ‘Your Ghost’ showcased her interesting alt-pop sound, with her full, rich voice filling the small space. Single ‘The Alley’ ended the set, leaving me pretty excited for where things might go for E^ST in the future.
While the atmosphere at Tomorrow’s People was weird due to the small crowd, the performances were excellent. Overall, I’d call it a success – I would’ve killed for a gig like this when I was underage.