Concert Review: Hidden

I felt like this was one of those gigs where if you knew, you knew. Many people I spoke to didn’t know it was happening. So let me tell you what went down. Now, I missed quite a few acts so I can’t give you a rundown on the whole thing. Like most full-time workers, the timings weren’t easy to work with as it started at 2pm on a Friday. Also due to the weather forecast, the event which was originally billed as an outdoor festival became a two-level indoor event. When I arrived the rain had really kicked in but the crowd didn’t seem to care. I don’t know if it was because it was quite nice after the heat we’ve had or people knew it was going to be crazy inside so just wrote off the bit of water they had to walk through. But as I got in the doors I headed straight to the ground floor stage, as I was wanting to catch J.I.D.

I only just recently heard of J.I.D as he was recommended to me by a friend and his album also popped up on my Spotify. “J.I.D! J.I.D! J.I.D!” As the crowd began chanting J.I.D took the stage. Now I had to look up his age because honestly, you wouldn’t think he was 28. He looked more early twenties. He came out in layers which he very quickly realised was a bad idea as due to Ellerslie Event Centre having a low roof, it was HOT! One of those layers was clearly a piece of his own merch for his recent album DiCaprio 2. It turns out the crowd knew his music a lot better than I thought with them screaming the words along with him. J.I.D had crazy energy and wanted to get the crowd on his level by starting a couple of mosh pits and jumping down on the speakers to say hi to those at the front. I can definitely see why he is one to keep an eye on. This crowd knows!

Now I’ve never been a big DJ-type person myself so Troyboi and Kayzo didn’t really do anything for me. Don’t get me wrong, they had so much energy and put on great sets which the crowd loved. But a lot of it seemed quite similar to me. Though Troyboi was more hip hop and dubstep-type music whereas Kayzo was that, rock& metal. The Evanescence sing-along that Kayzo did was definitely a fave for me. I know the crowd will disagree with me on this but that’s just my experience. During Kayo’s set, I actually popped upstairs to see what was going on. To do this I had to climb up escalators that weren’t going so it was like using normal stairs, which didn’t really seem safe for a drinking crowd but all seemed well. Upstairs seemed pretty chill. Like the music was not chill at all but it felt like this level was where the crowd came to take a break. I don’t know if it was just my timing or what. But it was interesting.

As for Lil Yachty, where do I even begin? He had a great set! Also if his name is anything to go by, his performance involves A LOT of water. Now throughout his set, he threw out the occasional bottle of water which wet a few of us. But then he went on to do what he called a “Boat Test”. Lil Yachty and his crew probably handed out around 30 water bottles to the crowd and as soon as he said go people shook it everywhere. If you weren’t soaking after this, you weren’t there. It was crazy! There was water dripping from the ceiling and the stage was soaked as well. On top of this, he had high energy and climbed down on the speakers to interact with the crowd. I also found it interesting as he always seemed quite serious but the set was anything but, it was awesome.

I love that they had Shapeshifter to close the night. It was awesome to see a local act closing it out and who doesn’t love Shapeshifter! This 5-piece group may involve a wide range of instruments but those guys really know how to make a stationary object look fun to use. The movements and energy these guys had were so good and P.Digggs just really brought the positive vibes. He even came down to the front of the crowd a couple of times to high five everyone and sing-a-long with them. Their setlist was definitely more chill than what we had just experienced throughout the night but I liked that. It finished the night in chill yet fun way. Hidden literally tore the place up. Speakers dropped out of the ceiling, roof panels looked like they might come down, water & condensation covered the roof as rubbish covered the floor. C02 cannons even managed to be used which really just drowned the place in smoke as it was such a small room. It was quite effective and the C02 was quite good in the way it was cooling as well.

I would definitely like to see Hidden outside if possible next time and probably on a Saturday but I think this first event really gave punters a taste and there is definitely a lot of potential for this event to continue. So get planning now because who knows who will be on the lineup next time!

– Reviewed and Photographed by Shelley Te Haara