Gig Review: Vince Staples | Forum Theatre | Melbourne | 9.1.18

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Despite it being a Tuesday, the crowd were pumped to see Vince Staples, who hails all the way from Long Beach, California. The rapper played a jam-packed set that was electrifying and absolute fire — and I mean literally; the fire department was called during the show. 

Vince Staples kicked things off with ‘Homage’, which is off his most recent release Big Fish Theory. The crowd erupted instantly, and from that point, there was no stopping them. 

Though on-stage banter isn’t his thing and you won’t see him ever getting chatty, his performance does have vigour. Throughout the show’s entirety, he would try his best to get the crowd hyped, repetitively getting the crowd to put their hands up, or to jump around and go crazy — even if he didn’t do this, there was no chance that the crowd were going to be quiet at any stage in the night. There was a lot of love for Vince — in fact, the guy who was standing in front me screamed out ‘I love you Vince’ around eight times, I lost count.

The reason why his shows are so high-powered is due to the combination of his superhuman flow and the intensity of the production of his tracks. Though his music sounds incredible on headphones or through the AUX cord in the car, it transcends into something else in a live setting. Particularly tracks like ‘Se├▒orita’ and ‘745’, which elevate even more so live. 

As I mentioned earlier, the fire department had to be called in sometime in the latter stages of the show. As soon as Vince noticed that there were firefighters, a slight smile appeared on his face. He then got the crowd to scream out ‘thank you Mr. firefighter’. I don’t know why they were there, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to say that it was caused by all the fire Vince was spitting on stage. 

The ending was slightly anticlimactic. He closed up with his biggest hit ‘Norf Norf’, which sent the crowd into an even bigger frenzy. There was no big farewell speech when he finished up, he left the stage with a slight peace sign, leaving us wondering if there was going to be an encore. Despite the crowd begging for him to reemerge, the lights turned back on and the night was officially over. Honestly, I can’t be mad. He gave his all throughout the whole show and if encores aren’t his thing, then you have to respect that. 

Vince Staples made a Tuesday night feel like a Friday night. Though it’s only the beginning of 2018, he has set the bar high for anyone else who plans on hitting our shores this year. 

Written by Amy Smolcic
Photos by Kristy Smolcic