Melbourne five-piece Void of Vision is first to take the stage tonight, plowing through six tracks like a bulldozer at a construction site. Kicking things off with two songs off their debut LP, “Children of Chrome” (2016), that being Blacklist and Ctrl Freak. Vocalist Jack Bergin runs around the stage like a madman in a raincoat, his choice of clothing tonight coming from the unpredictable Melbourne weather to the Sydney weather which is usually just wrong thanks to clueless weather reporters.
Crowd favourite seems to be Nightmare, taken from the EP, “Broken // Bones’” (2014) shown by the lively reception. The second half of the set focuses on “Children of Chrome” with the likes of In Black & White, Sunrise and set closer, Red Handed. From the smiles on band members faces it was obvious how stoked they were to be there, as the opening act for tonight.
The sounds progressed from emo inspired metalcore to the fat beats of Indigenous hip-hop duo, A.B. Original. Backed by DJ Total Eclipse from the United States, MC Briggs representing Shepparton, Melbourne joined by Adelaide local Trials, “cos everyone loves Adelaide”, the boys stress with slight sarcasm. Most importantly representing indigenous Australia, A.B. Original brings the crowd together taking the roof off the Big Top tonight.
A taste of the debut LP, “Reclaim Australia” (2016) is given the heads up from happy punters tonight with the inspiring flow on display. From the catchy, January 26 and I C U to crowd favourite Report to the Mist which deals with Indigenous incarceration and police brutality, a theme Ice-T also focuses on. It’s no wonder the talented crew has earned a spot at The Dark Mofo Festival this June. A.B. Original would have done Ice-T proud.
Twenty years on Body Count return down under showing their love for metal from the opening notes of Guitar God or ‘Satan” as frontman Ice-T refers to long-time member Ernie C, as the tight new line-up absolutely ‘slays’ through Raining Blood into Postmortem, pun intended. It is old school Body Count that sends shivers down one’s spine with the surrealism of Bowels of the Devil, from the debut, “Body Count” (1992) and Necessary Evil off the follow-up, “Born Dead” (1994).
Manslaughter is represented with the title track from “Manslaughter” (2014) showing the brutal side of the band with Ice-T rating the intensity of the pit by whether it was a good show or not. The crowd sung along in ecstasy to every word of There Goes the Neighbourhood, cracking smiles bigger than the iconic Luna Park clown, lit up for one memorable night with a setlist any fan would approve.
Songs from “Bloodlust” (2017) went down well with the likes of No Lives Matter, with its strong message intact and the Donald Trump satire to introduce the thick riffs of Black Hoodie. Another highlight was the punk-tinged, title track Body Count, off the debut LP, which had every man and their dog singing along in unison. The upbeat Drive By, another from “Born Dead”, blended into three tracks off that iconic debut. From the frantic outburst of Voodoo to the punk gem, KKK Bitch to the guitar wizardry of Ernie C and C-Note, this became one guitar orgasm of sound as it was extended for the guitar enthusiast.
Ice-T was on fire with his onstage banter, surely knowing how to work the crowd asking all males to man up and that they were the real bitches with vaginas. Changing his name from Ice-T, not to Ice Muthafuckin’ T but to Ice Muthafuckin’ T bitches, punters were in stitches. Calling out the youngest girl in the crowd at twenty who came along with her dad, who Ice referred to as the coolest dad in Australia for the fact he brought his daughter to a Body Count show, rather than a Justin Bieber concert. The conversation leads to talk about social media and so-called internet trolls, which was a welcome introduction to the next song of the night, Talk Shit, Get Shot, the opener to “Manslaughter.”
Before a ‘virtual encore’ in which lights went out and the band imaginarily left and returned to the stage Ice introduced Cop Killer as the new Australian anthem. Returning with not actually going anywhere with an Exploited cover of Disorder, which featured on “Judgment Night (Music from the Motion Picture)” (1993) as a Slayer/Ice-T collaboration. The epic, Born Dead, took the pace down a notch as a stripped down version of This is why we Ride ended a tight set.
Nineties nostalgia struck gold tonight, as everyone had found themselves stuck in the void of a time warp, that no one wanted to end.