After their incredible closing set at Splendour In The Grass 2019, Hilltop Hoods set out on tour in celebration of their latest release The Great Expanse. Playing two shows in Brisbane, I attended the second announced show on the Friday at Riverstage and what a a performance it was.
I did however see Hilltop’s set at SITG and I was presently surprised to find their set was completely different. Their stage was set up with levels to showcase the drummer, DJ and 3 musicians in the horn section. They also had projected visuals displayed in the front and back half of the stage as well as the lovely addition of a TV screen that followed the show so from every angle you could see their performance clear and unobstructed.
As the lights dimmed over the Riverstage the whole crowd erupted with repeated chants of “Hilltop” and screams of pure fandom. The boys opened up their set was the intro to their Great Expanse album before those classic piano notes of single Chase That Feeling rattled in the back ground.
Everywhere I looked the crowd was rocking out, from kids on shoulders to teens rapping their hearts out, you could tell everyone was have an incredible time and the boys were giving it their all in return. Rolling through tracks such as Leave Me Lonely as well as classics like 1955, Nose Bleed Section and Love It, Hilltop Hoods never shy away from playing tracks they know their fans love no matter how old it is or how many times they have had to play it. They have a reputation that if you love the song, chances are you will definitely hear it live and in my case that’s 100% true.
Hilltop constantly prove that there is never a dull moment at one of their shows. Bringing to the stage incredible special guests such as Nyassa, Ecca Vandal and Illy as well as their supporting acts 1800Shadow and Mojojuju, Hilltop put in all of the work to make sure every one of their songs sounds the best that it can. All of these special guests helped with singles like Exit Sign, Clark Griswold and Live and Let Go, and because of those featuring voices the cross over between recorded and live performance was identical. Suffer and Pressure also hold the upper hand when it comes to performing live because they to can perform as well as they can in the studio as they do on stage. They never skip a beat or miss a note and on top of that they are flying around the stage and dancing like maniacs all while performing perfectly.
Both boys are so high energy, leaping from one side of the stage to the other they connected with the audience at every turn and the crowd was absolutely loving it. Every move they made was strategic and with the confetti and fire canyons going off in front of them it had the whole Riverstage on their toes wondering what was going to happen next.
Finishing off their roller-coaster set was none other than one of my personal favourite tracks from 2012 Rattling The Keys To The Kingdom. With the crowd hyped up again it only seemed fair that Hilltop would finish with an encore of Cosby Sweater with additional support from all their special guests as well as female emcee Jesswar who I absolutely adore. Not only did she jump in for the chorus but she also wrote her own verse to the track and killed it.
Rapping every word in perfect sync with some cheaky banter in between tracks, the vibes were at an all time high from the very minute Hilltop Hoods walked on stage and it never stopped. From all sides fans were rapping, dancing and singing along with massive smiles on their face and almost every single one of them was wearing some form of merchandise. Hilltop Hoods have a fan base of young and old and everything in between. They make music for the people and they performance was one that will be remembered.