MF Doom @ Metro City, Perth (25/03/11)

MF Doom’s first tour to Australia was plagued with doubt after the postponing of the east coast shows due to the performer’s ill health. Perth fans were left with uncertainty while waiting for a significant amount of time before he arrived onstage, well after 12am. The crowd were restless and cries of “Doom” could have been confused with booing, although there was always a certain feeling of anticipation.

When Doom came onstage, there was no announcement of illness, no explanation with regards to the postponements of previous gigs and no explanation for why he was late. Perhaps we will never know and because it was his first show in Australia, no-one could tell whether he was in standard Doom form or not.

The support acts had a couple of rappers along with someone on the decks, allowing for the dynamics naturally occuring between the three. The rapping took center stage with not much variety in the musical backing.Layla [SBX] and Dazastah were on early together, and it was a fiery pairing with this fierce lady showing that boys can be challenged at the game and she was certainly not afraid to tell it like it is. As early as it was, they were able to get a rise from the crowd who appreciated their skills. Next act up was Simplex who kept things pretty simple, stripped back and getting on with it. Briggs was a treat, upping the energy with some cheekiness and amping up the crowd with the vibrancy coming off the stage.

Of course Doom was the main event and the crowd responded amazingly to him, everyone bouncing in sync, without needing much encouragement. He wore his signature metal mask that did look quite sinister, although his onstage presence was not. In plain t-shirt and jeans, Doom’s mask stood out as a disguise, rather than the costume of an alterior persona. He had a sidekick and they bounced off each other, taking turns with the rhymes and interacting together with the audience, pretending to push each other out to surf the crowd.

The fans loved it, hands in the air, filling in missing lyrics when called on like the loyal followers they are. It seemed all was forgiven re his tardy arrival; now they had their Doom fix they were happy.

Overall it was a night of stripped back hip hop, going back to the roots of rhymes bouncing back and forth. His lyricism was admirable and for a supposedly sick man, he looked to be in fairly good spirits. We can only imagine what he’d be like in perfect health.