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Live Photos + Review: FOMO 2020 - Trusts Arena, Auckland

Live Photos + Review: FOMO 2020 - Trusts Arena, Auckland

Photography by Connor Crawford / Reviews by Hunter Keane and Fluffy / Thursday 16th January, 2020 12:41PM

Hunter Keane and Fluffy headed along to Tāmaki Makaurau's Trusts Arena last night to experience the pop extravaganza which was FOMO 2020. Read their hot takes on the show's epic lineup (they sadly arrived too late to catch Vayne's set) and scroll downwards to view a gallery of Connor Crawford's snaps from the star-studded festival.


MeloDownz

Bronson Price is one of the strongest names coming out of Aotearoa at the moment and he stood out to me as a drawcard on the lineup despite sitting around the bottom of the bill. After going on a brief hiatus at the start of 2019 to focus on his health, he came back strong with the announcement he had signed with Def Jam and Sniffers for his upcoming releases, kicking things off with ‘No Mercy’ featuring Florida rapper Denzel Curry. IllBaz and Melo have since mastered their craft on the stage and it shows, holding their own against the international artists who played later on. The crowd engaged in unreleased songs and threw down for Avontales' hits with the same energy given to Rico Nasty and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. It’s only a matter of time before he’ll be making waves overseas. Hunter Keane

Rico Nasty

Rico Nasty’s 2019 EP with Kenny Beats, Anger Management, is in my honest opinion, fight music. From the first uttering of “KEEEEEENNNY!!!!” on opening track ‘Cold’ the gauntlet is thrown down with energy that I would argue is not dissimilar to hardcore punk. Indeed, many a chat I’ve had with aficionados of such styles hold the opinion that many a trap / drill outfit are the natural progression HxC approaches (especially when the inclusive ethos of such subgenres is considered).

Of late, there’s been many a discussion of what music fans will look back on as the “the sound of the 2010’s.” It’s my thoughts that the hyper-compressed, subwoofer-overheating 808 bass lines seen on opuses such as Anger Management, coupled with sly noise influences and the occasional auto-tuned sad-person hook (ala middle era Princess Nokia, and dare I say it, Lil Peep) will be viewed with such timeliness as we currently gaze upon the jazz / funk / soul samples that were used extensively by east coast hip hop mavericks such as Wu Tang Clan and Biggie Smalls in the 90’s and early 2000s. The sample nerd in me is also inclined to point out the use of the key melody of Jay Z’s ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ in the Anger Management track ‘Hatin’.

Rico’s appearance was blessed with the ticket-buying mob chanting her name before donning the afternoon stage in easily the most fabulous outfit of it day. Indeed I saw one well known journalist’s tweets serving as the envoy of such ruckus tunes to an otherwise unsuspecting pop-rap crowd. The 22 year old MC proved worthy of her namesake despite being seemingly slightly unfamiliar at times with her own lyrics. The feeling that she needs to return to Aotearoa for a headline set ASAP seemed unanimous, all the better if she were to return with current rising star Dojo Cat to perform their dual hit ‘Tia Timara’ (extra nerd credits include there being a bonus Thundercat cameo in self-same video). Fluffy


A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

It would absolutely surprise me if less then 75% of this very young crowd had not witnessed A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie at 2019’s iteration of Laneway. A few tracks in, the extensive subwoofer set up came to life and rattled organs and cooked youths’ brains alike. My favourite part about A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s set was the trio of young, enthusiastic gentlemen who rapped every *single* word along to the NYC-born rapper’s set. A palpable layer of C02 bursts complemented the thick blanket of bud smoke covering the outside of Trusts Area (as is the hallmark of any solid Aotearoa-based festival performance). The MC assured the youthful congregation that this was “the final tour before the new album drops” then asked if anyone in attendance “likes drugs?… likes sex?” before kicking into ‘Love Drugs And Sex’ from 2018’s Hoodie SZN. Did he really have to ask? Fluffy

Lizzo

The queen herself incited the festival’s namesake (FOMO) by playing a slaying medley of her four biggest bangers the previous night at an exclusive industry party - if that’s not an adept stranglehold on marketing, I don’t know what is! Big thumbs up for promoters Fuzen for including a display of a safer spaces policy on the sizeable LED screens before one of the most anticipated and femme-positive sets of the evening. From there the Detroit-born “bop” creator lead us through smash hits such as empowerment anthem ‘Good As Hell’, “thick bish” serenade ‘Tempo’ (featuring none other then 90s hip hop icon Missy Elliot, who was heartbreakingly not present) and boozy banger ‘Juice’, to name just a few. Were the majority of these youngsters here to hear her message of self-reliance and self-love, or were they riding the bandwagon of industry-implemented coolness? Either way, the vibes were blessedly non-macho, even in the tightest of mosh-squeezes and the positivity was flowing unbridledly throughout the set. What an absolute privilege to witness a star at a peak of her brightness, especially one with such cultural relevance and timeliness as Lizzo. What. A. Day! Fluffy

Brockhampton

After attending Brockhampton's debut New Zealand show at the Logan Campbell Centre back in 2018 I knew they would be back. The crowd could only be described as rabid that night, with the majority of the crowd focusing more on getting to the front rather than actually watching and listening to the group (the whole event is available to watch here). The crowd at FOMO was no different, with tons of punters jumping into the VIP area to get closer to the boy band. I wasn’t surprised and also felt tempted to make my way to the front. Brockhampton's stage presence and choreography was strong, with a set consisting of hits from Ginger and the Saturation trilogy (fans of Iridescence would have been disappointed - not a single song despite it being released less than two years ago). A low point of the set was waiting for the group to hand pick 40 strangers in the crowd just to share the stage for one song - especially because most of them didn’t know the words. Despite this, it’s clear that Brockhampton have a creative vision and they were able to execute a fully unified and collaborative artistic vision on the stage. Hunter Keane


Kaytranada

Kaytranada hasn’t really stopped being great since 2016s 99.9% and he was the perfect pick to close out the night. His music has always been driven by collaboration and that spirit is definitely reflected in his live show. It was the middle ground between a DJ set and a live production set; something that was raved about after his 2018 headline show at The Powerstation. Once Brockhampton finished, the crowd spread out across the entire field and began to dance in the cool air. You didn’t need to know the songs at all but it felt like the crowd did and that made the atmosphere even more potent. Dancing away to a ton of tracks from his new album Bubba was a great way to finish off FOMO for 2020. Hunter Keane

Click on the thumbnail images below to view the full gallery of Connor Crawford's snaps from FOMO 2020...


Fomo 2020
Fomo 2020
Kaytranada
Kaytranada
Kaytranada
Kaytranada

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