Gig Review: Noname | 170 Russell | Melbourne | 10.12.17

Monday, December 11, 2017

(Photo - Kristy Smolcic)

Noname is a shining light from Chicago’s music scene, sharing her reflective lyrics and incredible talent with the world. She's in town to play festivals, but she also squeezed in time to play sold out shows at Melbourne’s 170 Russell. 

Before Noname blessed us with her presence, Melbourne’s Billy Davis & The Good Lords brought the good vibes and set the tone for the rest of the night. Keyboardist Billy Davis’ skill on the keys is out of this world, and the rest of his band infused all that is beautiful about jazz and soulful hip-hop. If you have the opportunity to see them live, do it. 

Despite only having one mixtape (Telefone, which dropped in 2016), Noname played a set that was bursting with infectious energy. To be completely honest, it’s hard to believe that Noname has one mixtape. On stage, she comes across as a seasoned performer who has been doing this for a long time. She’s charismatic and was able to win everyone over with her interaction with fans and enthusiasm for performing. 

Some highlights from the show include her rendition of ‘You You You’ where she tried to get the crowd involved in the ad-libs, but this was only a sneak preview, and she instead left it for a few songs instead performing ‘All I Need’, ‘Forever’ and ‘Comfortable’. She then launched into ‘You You You’ again, getting the crowd hyped and eager to participate. 

It was hard not to love her performance of ‘Diddy Bop’, which was a crowd favourite. By far, the best part was the collective excitement of the crowd, which was driven by the queen herself. 

After departing after playing ‘Yesterday’, she returned back to the stage much to the happiness of the crowd to close out the night with ‘Shadow Man’, leaving everyone sad that it ended but overcome with joy that we all got to witness pure magic in a live music setting.  

Noname brought the spirit of Chicago’s distinct and diverse hip-hop scene to life in Melbourne and proved why she is leading the way. 

Written by Amy Smolcic

GIG GALLERY: Noname | 170 Russell | Melbourne | 10.12.17
Photographer: Kristy Smolcic