We’re normally pretty keen to see the end of Mondays but the first knock-off of the week was made even sweeter this time around as Kendrick Lamar was preparing to take over Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena for his first show on his Australian tour. Having previously played four years prior at the Palace Theatre, a lot has changed for Kendrick (and Melbourne’s live music venues) since his last visit. Luckily, the one thing that remains the same is the absolute support the fans showed for the now multi Grammy-winning artist.
Fresh off To Pimp a Butterfly’s bumper award season, including that spine-tingling live performance at the Grammys, the build-up to Kendrick’s Melbourne show was a pretty intense one. The fans showed out in force, filling much of the general admission area by the time support act Kamasi Washington took to the stage for a super soulful set and keeping the atmosphere buzzing until the main attraction.
Naturally, the whole venue immediately stood up as soon as Kendrick sauntered onto the stage and he understandably took a few minutes to savour the moment before firing into his first track, ‘For Free?’. The crowd kept up with the pace as Kendrick lead us through a mix of favourites from three of his most popular records, Section 80, Good Kid, m.A.A.d city, and to TPAB, as well as some very, very early cuts, interspersed with brief, motivational speeches.
Later in the night, the crowd started up a chant of “pimp pimp, hooray!”, which Kendrick seemed to appreciate, leading a couple of cheers himself before confirming by a show of noise level that most of the crowd had indeed copped his latest chart-topping project. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to convince him to gift us with any renditions of untitled. unmastered. tracks but I guess we can only hope his intention to come back ‘home’ is fulfilled sooner rather than later.
Check out some images from his Melbourne concert above. Kendrick Lamar is set to play in Sydney tonight and at Bluesfest in Byron Bay on Thursday night.
- Photography: Georgia Haynes