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Live Review: Action Bronson w/ Meyhem Lauren @ The Met

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US rapper Action Bronson visited Brisbane briefly on his ‘Mr. Wonderful’ tour last week and the dedicated crowd that gathered were in for a wild night. The former chef (real name Arian Asllani) has been making his way across the country, performing to adoring crowds at night and tasting the culinary delights Australia has to offer by day.

“his live show at The Met was all about the music. The heady, infectious music”

Many know Bronson from Fuck, That’s Delicious, a cooking show with a twist as it follows the outspoken rapper on his culinary adventures through the US and across the world. But his live show at The Met was all about the music. The heady, infectious music.

Supporting him on the tour was his long-time friend and fellow Queens, New York rapper, Meyhem Lauren. He brought an old-school feel to the start of the night, with a formidable presence on stage and an impressive, traditional flow. He delivered a powerful performance, featuring tracks like 100 MPH and a selection of brand new, “world premiere” tracks, which went over just as well.

But the crowd were undoubtedly there to see Bronson, as numbers seemed to swell at the blink of an eye just before he arrived. The lights went down and the energy in the room was palpable as Bronson made his surprisingly low-key entrance on stage. He didn’t pause for long, launching straight into his first track Action Silverado, with the help of his backing DJ.

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Bronson’s set featured a mixture of tracks from his 2013 mixtape ‘Blue Chips 2’ and his most recent full-length release, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ (2015). He played tracks like The Rising and Terry from the album, but it was his better known hits like Actin Crazy that sent the crowd wild. Pretty soon the mosh-pit was impenetrable, with the crowd pushing against each other in waves. Smoke began to fill the room as several people lit up joints right under the nose of security, but they didn’t seem to do anything.

“Smoke began to fill the room as several people lit up joints right under the nose of security”

Bronson mentioned the absence of the third unofficial crew member, Big Body Bes, also from Queens, New York and childhood friend of Bronson and Lauren. Apparently, Bes had “too many charges” against his name and was not allowed into the country. A minor set-back, but Bronson pushed through and confidently delivered his often soul-influenced hip hop set.

As the set progressed, he began to pause between songs, clearly getting his breath, and he worked his way through 5 water bottles in what seemed like minutes. At one high point, Bronson began smashing a half-empty bottle of water against his head. He was getting just as pumped as the audience clearly were.

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Lauren returned on stage for a couple of tracks in the middle of the set and they dropped a new song Sauce and played Lauren’s hit Money In My Pocket to a wild crowd. But it was undoubtedly Bronson’s last few tracks that the crowd were there to see, with Baby Blue from ‘Mr. Wonderful’ causing everyone to erupt in cheers and sing along to the soulful track. The smooth flow of the song had everyone nodding their heads, and the follow-up of Easy Rider kept the energy going. The crowd were chanting “ride the Harley into the sunset” as Bronson looked out into audience, clearly taking it all in.

It was a night of sweat, smoke, and head nodding, with Bronson easily charming his ravenous audience. And just like that, he was gone, heading off to Sydney the next day to continue his tour and hopefully finding lots of delicious things to eat along the way.

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