At the beginning of this month, young Aussie artist, Allday kicked off his ‘Speeding Tour’ following the release of his latest 12 track album, ‘Speeding’. A favourite among the young generation, Allday (aka Tom Gaynor) originally from Adelaide in South Australia, is known for his distinct sound and relatable lyrics that resonate closely with his fans.
I have seen Allday perform on several occasions. Each time, the size of the venue and the size of the crowd has differed. From a small, steamy Uni bar, to a large scale festival, he seems to adjust his performance to suit and no matter how large the crowd, he always holds room in the palm of his hand for the entire show. His latest album has taken on a significantly more mature feel to it, so I was interested to see how this would translate in his performance at Luna Park, Sydney – the second stop on the ‘Speeding Tour’.
Arriving to a seemingly endless line of excited teens, anticipating the opening of the doors to the Big Top, it was clear to see that the all ages, sold out show was going to be a good one. The lights and sounds from Luna Park resonated with anxious chatter and laughter from the line of gig goers. Inside the venue, the familiar smell of smoke puffing out of the smoke machines filled the warm room.
Opening the show was Mallrat and her DJ, Denim, who both went to school together in Mackay, North Queensland. Most of the audience seemed to be familiar with Mallrat and Denim, as the room was filled from the outset. She opened with ‘For Real’, followed by ‘Sunglasses’ and ‘Tokyo Drift’, often harmonising with Denim. Between songs Mallrat chatted to the crowd sweetly and appreciatively. The crowd enthusiastically yelled the lyrics to ‘Inside Voices’ and they wrapped up the set with ‘Uninvited’.
Sydney local Nicole Millar followed. The singer-songwriter and vocalist performed some recognisable collaborative tunes, opening with the Golden Features hit, ’Tell Me’. Her airy yet powerful vocals and enthusiasm on stage were a winning combination with the crowd. Millar’s performance of the Peking Duk hit, ‘High’ began with her own, slower rendition of the song before breaking out to the familiar chorus to which the crowd went insane, screaming the lyrics. Millar wrapped up her set with a song of her own that she wrote in her bedroom, ‘Tremble’.
Following Millar, Japanese Wallpaper brought a sombre and chilled vibe that contrasted with the previous two Artists. Their elevated synth pop combined with live drums, keys and electric guitar was welcomed by the crowd, however the venue became restless towards the end of their set only with anticipation for Allday.
Japanese Wallpaper wrapped up their set and after a quick stage reset, the background music faded and smoke machines spluttered, signalling that the arrival of Allday was not far away. The crowd erupted as Mikey HUNJ, the DJ, made an arrival on his raised podium in the centre of the stage, followed soon by Allday himself. Allday entered powerfully with that infectious energy and enthusiasm that I had expected, opening with ‘First Light’. Right away, he encaptured the crowd, some of whom had been waiting in line all day (no pun intended), for this moment. Allday used every inch of the stage, and encouraged everyone in all corners of the venue to get involved. It’s impossible not to get up and dance.
He continued his performance and launched breathlessly into ‘Sides’, where he jumped into the crowd at the front of the barricades. ‘Claude Monet’ followed, as Allday introduced the track as “just an old one real quick” – much to the joy of the crowd who continued to bounce and raise their hands to Allday’s encouragement as he shouted “I know it’s hard, but keep ’em up!”. Heat radiated from the crowd below, extinguished only by sprays of water from the security guards. More tracks from the new album followed and were very well received by the audience who were swinging shirts and dancing clumsily. He had a chance to chat to the crowd between songs before rapping over Chance The Rapper and Childish Gambino tracks.
Mallrat reappeared from the smoke at the side of the stage (this time without Denim), to join Allday as they performed ‘Baby Spiders’ together. Allday spied a fan-made ‘Send Nudes’ poster in the crowd before aptly jumping into the popular track. As a strong believer that encores are “fake”, Allday departed stage only for a short time after performing ‘In Motion’, before resurfacing to wrap up his set with ‘You Always Know The DJ’.
Allday often paused between songs to express his appreciation for his opening acts – all of whom are great friends of his, his supporters and especially the crowd. It was a humbling moment when he missed his cue at the beginning of a verse and apologised to the crowd – “I’m not very musical”. Stage production and lighting were good. Each song was paired with animated graphics on a large screen and only further improved the feel of the performance.
Overall, it was another great performance from Allday and his opening acts. It was the perfect mix of old and new tunes and throughout the entirety of his performance, which went for about an hour, he maintained the highest level of energy, and this only radiated onto the crowd, who mirrored his vivaciousness. His passion for what he does is nothing short of obvious and supporters of his music are able to relate to him as a young Aussie kid doing what he loves with people that he loves.