I don’t know if it was because Allday was joined with 3 killer supporting acts, or people were missing his familiar presence since he moved to LA, or if everyone just fell in love with his new album ‘Speeding’, but Big Top at Luna Park was wild. Being a sold out show, the line made its way from Big Top to the back of the Park and beyond, with some people even arriving at 9am to line up. Showing his admirable humility, Allday came out after soundcheck and met fans before the show.
Joined with 3 Aussie support acts, Mallrat, Nicole Millar and Japanese Wallpaper, it made for a great night – a little something for everyone.
Mallrat, aka Grace Shaw, with friend and DJ, Denim, opened the show with a bunch of feel-good, electro pop bops. Featuring on 2 tracks of Allday’s Speeding album, I assumed many in the crowd were familiar with Mallrat’s music. I was sure when I noticed over half the floor was filled at 7:30pm for the first act. Grace worked the stage care-free, twirling and jumping round in the red lights, in her pink frilly pants to hits For Real, Sunglasses and Tokyo Drift. She ended on a massive high with Uninvited, as people bopped and chanted ‘get me off the list’. The crowd screaming ‘I fucking hate Westfield’ from Inside Voices was a highlight. Probably the best supporting act out of the 3.
This was followed by Nicole Millar who brought an almost hypnotic vibe, paired with her iconic lips logo and dancing in some glamorous boots (I want a pair). Cheers hit the stage as she appeared through the smoke. Her set was filled with atmospheric electronic-dance/pop and silky vocals, complete with her strutting across the stage. She was accompanied by a two-piece band that really elevated her set. Nicole played hits like Tremble, Wait, No Bad Vibes, particularly her collab with Peking Duk and 2014s anthem, ’High’ going OFF, obviously. One of the biggest moments of the show.
Atmospheric is one word that could be used to describe Japanese Wallpaper, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist also known as Gab Strum. His set had a completely different vibe from the rest; a calming and soft electronica. Like Mallrat, he featured on Speeding, and played songs from his 2015 EP and a new one or two. The sound made it what it was. Ethereal. The simplicity of the visuals in its transitioning of colours elevated his sound. I’d personally say his 40-minute was a bit too lengthy and should’ve maybe not been the act to perform before Allday. It was a nice surprise though when fellow Aussie E^ST chimed in with hauntingly beautiful vocals towards the end.
After some serious chanting throughout the show, Allday ft. DJ, Mikey HUNJ, finally made their way on stage at 10pm, appearing out of the smoke with Speeding’s upbeat First Light. And there was uproar, like, serious uproar. His energy and jumping around didn’t go unnoticed, it clearly bounced off and into the crowd, and he kept that throughout the hour, I don’t know how.
It was an even set between older songs (Wolves, Right Now) and his 2017 album, Speeding (Raceway, Codeine 17) + an unexpected cover of Chance’s All Night. A bit different from his typical sound, Sides went OFF, as did No Saint and Claude Monet (the crowd singing ‘remember the kid you are’ is and will always be i c o n i c). And of course the encore You Always Know The DJ. Maybe he said it because he was terrible at trying to make a believable encore, but he preached encores are fake and artists just want the crowd to chant again. Tru.
Some highlights include his speeches about appreciating fans and his 3 support acts/mates, and entertaining moments when he missed the count in of a verse and said ‘I’m not very musical’, struggled to get back on stage when he hopped off to high five fans and held a fan-made poster while singing Send Nudes.
It was a treat when Mallrat popped out for her feature in Baby Spiders, and Japanese Wallpaper for one of the best songs off Speeding, In Motion. The ballad was pretty special live and showed off Allday’s often overlooked vocals. Upbeat and comedowns, touching moments, jokes and stuff ups made for an amazing time – though I wish he played for a bit over an hour and had less from the smoke machines because it was a struggle to see him sometimes – then again it would’ve made for some aesthetically pleasing photos.
The show brought diversity, energy and intimacy. 110% recommend. I wish I could go back. An incredible line up of 4 in just one night was more than worth it, especially for the humble ticket prices.
Catch him on the rest of his Australian Speeding tour, listen to the quality album Speeding, and give the other acts, Mallrat, Nicole Millar and Japanese Wallpaper, a listen.
*Credit to Gabrielle Clement and ProjectU. Link to full gallery here.