REVIEW + PICS: Grandtheft, Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Written By Alistair Rhodes on 03/26/2016

With the recent release of Grandtheft’s Quit This City EP comes a full Australian and New Zealand tour of the same name. First stop was Sydney at The Oxford Art Factory supported by A-Tonez and GG Magree.

GG Magree kicked off the night and did everything that you’d expect from a curtain opener. She mixed her set up with an array of genres including trap, bass, rap and some good old dirty hard electro. Whether it was Everybody by the Backstreet Boys or T-Pain’s Apple Bottom Jeans GG was always interacting with the crowd and had them singing out aloud to those catchy lyrics.

By the time A-Tonez came on the place was rapidly filling up hitting them with his famous heavy basslines. As of late I don’t think I’ve seen a DJ command the decks better than A-Tonez did tonight. He just doesn’t stop up on the decks with constantly fading tracks in and out and his scratching skills would have to be up there with some of the best in this country. Watching him you just fed off the energy that he oozes. He moved off into some jackin bass and as soon as he played his Where Are You Now remix the crowd was getting right down low and dirty on the dancefloor whilst busting out some lyrics. This remix had so much bass in it it was pushing the speakers to their limits.

A-Tonez then moved off into more of a heavy progressive techno route for the back end of his set which was clearly pleasing the crowd to all extremes. He left his final touch on the crowd with Jaguar Trap and a real slow but heavy remix of Breathe by The Prodigy followed by ten minutes of dubstep and heavy bass, perfect way to lead into Grandtheft.

The man of the hour or shall I say two hours steps up on the decks and it was most certainly GO TIME! You could just tell right from the get go that Grandtheft wasn’t here to fuck spiders as he opens up with some real heaving basslines which then leads into So Wavey. His next big track which surprised me that he played it so early was his latest release Number One where he teamed up with Major Lazer. This track was needed at this early point of the set to get the crowd involved and he managed to do that by fading out the volume and getting the crowd to chant the “woah” part of the song and then grandtheft commanded the crowd to jump up and down during the dance hall drop of the song.

It didn’t take long for people to be up on one another’s shoulders. Opening up a small circle pit at the front of the dance floor, any time a Baauer or Flosstradamus track was played the whole crowd was sent sideways. What Grandtheft manages to do so well is change genres ever so smoothly and slightly and he just makes every song blend and transition well. A prime example of this was when Tame Impala’s Let It Happen was mixed into his set.

Once Quite This City came on the whole crowd was swaying in unison and were singing along to the brooding and potent vocals of Lowell.

A massive highlight of the night was when Grandtheft paid tribute to the late Phife Dawg. He grabbed the microphone and said “for the next ten minutes I’m going to play Phife Dwag as I grew up listening to him and this is my tribute to him.” So for the next ten miutes it was all songs by A Tribe Called Quest with tracks ranging from Buggin’ Out, The Hop and Award Tour. Grandtheft later went on to thank the crowd for letting him do that.

Straight after that it was back to the heavy bass with Grandtheft’s 2013 release Give Me More transitioned with BBHMM.

Heavy crowd favorites of the night would definitely have been; M.A.A.D. City, Recess, Work, Febreze, Where Are U Now, GOGO. Unnoticed by the crowd was What So Not’s Innerbloom remix and Grandthft picked up on this, stopped playing and said “hold up hold up, lets do this again, I want you to all go crazy for this Australian shit!” For me just hearing this did wonders for the night and really set the tone for the final half an hour which I may add was an extra half an hour because grandtheft was meant to finish at 3am yet he played right the way through till 3:30am because the crowd was still killing it.

Grandtheft played his whole arsenal of music, leaving no genre untouched throughout the entirety of the set. This was very much a no holds barred type of set with nothing left up on stage.

If you’re around Sydney on Easter Sunday and you have nothing to do then I suggest you head down to Ivy’s Courtyardy Party and catch the mind boggling Grandtheft.

All photos by Ben Cvoro.