I knew I’d jumped on the right tram when I noticed there was at least four all-black North Face Nupste jackets, nervously swigging away at premixed bourbon and Coke cans dotted across the tram. Tonight’s crowd was noticeably on the younger side, unsurprising given this was The Pharcyde’s fourth Australian tour.
Most heads had probably caught them already in their fuller line up, which, last time around, was Good Vibrations in 2009. If you haven’t heard Dilla’s 2001 interview with Gilles Peterson, he recalls members throwing down and an arm being broken over the Akai 950 filter sounding better than the Ensoniq ASR-10 for the production on Runnin to which he concludes “…is The Pharcyde still together?”
Support tonight came from Computer Jay whom I couldn’t recall where I knew the name from until he mentioned he was in a member of Dam-Funk’s back up group, Master Blazter, the namesake disbanding after drummer J1 passed away in a car crash in Sweden late last year. He plodded along with some dull electronica/visuals that involved him playing video games on stage, not really doing much to warm up the crowd.
Eventually Bootie Brown and Imani burst out claiming they were taking us back to ’93 and for whatever reason, it took me about a minute to realise that they were playing Drop. From that they led to Hey then She Said, which worried me that they might be getting through too many crowd pleasers early on. By my own admission, I’m only really familiar with the Labcabin’ and Bizarre Ride LPs, so I was somewhat lost on their newer material mid-set, but classics like Oh Shit kept the crowd moving, despite lacking in Fatlip’s presence to deliver his classic verse.
Between Vic-One on DJ duties and Computer Jay on the….SNES(?), they delivered a really tight set, with Bootie Brown’s clear delivery cutting through Jay Dee’s iconic production. The encore concluded the show with Ya Mama, and the crowd losing their shit to Runnin. There’s no doubt in my mind that this won’t be Pharcyde’s last trip to our shores.