Live Review: Baker Boy + Dallas Woods + Kalea – Howler, Melbourne (17.11.18)

It was an evening of fun in Brunswick as Baker Boy brought the excitement to The Howler, along with two wonderful openers in Kalea and Dallas Woods. Baker Boy’s spirit was electric and was quickly transferred into the assembled crowd, making the night even more pumped.

The night opened with the smooth vocalisations of New South Wales artist, Kalea. Being up on stage can be highly daunting, and it seemed hard for Kalea, who was seemingly still building confidence. Kalea’s banter with the audience felt flustered and somewhat broken, but she completely reassembled herself through her music. Flashing back to the R&B sounds of yesteryear, Kalea’s rhythmic soul infused vocals worked wonders, especially on her cover of Childish Gambino‘s ”Redbone”. With the backing sounds stripped back, it meant more of Kalea’s vocal work was able to be heard, along with the shift in pitching, giving a new tone to the piece.

Dallas Woods continued the evening’s entertainment. Woods, who is Baker Boy’s partner and MC, was egging the crowd to have a wild time right from the outset. Together with DJ Mixer the duo combined to create an exhilarating set and easily amped up the energy of the crowd. Dallas was eagerly egging us on, wanting us all to dance, sing and rap along with him. “Cycle” was a real highlight of the set, the track filled with so much emotion and pain sheds a light on the issue of suicide in the Kimberley region, and highlights the effect it has on Woods, and the wider community. At the end of the track Woods had all the backing tracks stripped back and away, leaving only his vocals to be heard. The heavy sentiment of the verse wasn’t lost on the crowd, and it helped the motivations that went into writing a track about one of Australia’s worst epidemics. Woods closed his set with upcoming release, “Hoodlum”. There was real punch behind the track, with Woods again getting the crowd involved in some call and response, shouting Hoodlum.

It’s been amazing to witness the evolution of Baker Boy as an artist.  While the young man from Arnhem Land was still relatively unknown only a year ago, Saturday night’s gig at the Howler represents a huge leap in his career, and is one of many sold out shows across the country. Opening with “Black Magic”, alongside Dallas Woods, the crowd was eager to hear some of the newer tracks that Baker Boy has been writing throughout the year. 

Whilst the young artist has been born into one of the most divisive periods of history, his messages of peace, love and togetherness brought an already bubbly crowd even further together, with Baker Boy using his music to explain parts of his story and help bridge a divide. All the favourites from the past year were well represented throughout the set, with “Cloud 9”, the punchy “Mr La-do-da-di” and “Marryuna” all getting a great reaction from the audience, and playing a big role in the night’s fun. 

Yet, Baker Boy’s set was more than just about his messages and music, instead it was also an expression of his performance dreams. Throughout the set he consistently broke out into dance with his two backup dancers, displaying and reinforcing his creative talents outside the realm of music. The dancing was an exciting addition to his set and really helped bring some  further energy to the performance.

Closing on “Cruise Control” Baker Boy ended the night on a high, with a Didgeridoo solo and some extra dancing towards the end of the track thrown in for good measure. It was full of Baker Boy’s signature sound and really closed the night on a high, letting the crowd party one final time and seeing the night out on a win.

 

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Baker Boy’s wraps up at the Northcote Social Club for a sold out all ages matinee performance on November 25th.

The Reviewer attended the performance at The Howler on November 17th.

Header Image sourced from Baker Boy’s Facebook

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