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Wordplay

360 Live @ The Astor Theatre

To be honest, I didn’t come to the show with many expectations. Somehow, 360 has slipped my viewing history. I’ve heard a few songs and enjoyed them, but I’ve never been much of a fan. That fact aside, I know that 360 has a huge fan base and that alongside his mate Pez who also featured on the show has created quite a movement in the hip-hop scene.

I’ve heard rumours around drugs and 360, considering the name of the song Drugs having some kind of inkling that he, like myself, has had a battle around drug use. In hindsight, I am disappointed I didn’t look further into 360 and his career – but at the same time, it created a unique experience of first times. One that was without the biased expectations that comes with being a “follower” as well as being drawn into the gossip and expectations that come along with being a fan. That being said, here’s my review on the night.

Marksman Lloyd was the lead act for the night. I’ve caught Marksman a number of times, and the show he puts on hasn’t stopped developing. The intro-to-act had drummer Joe Davis playing an electronic set of drums, the beat maintained throughout Marksman’s set. He uses the crowd to fill his freestyle by holding up random objects and again, he absolutely nails it. Another stand out song for me on his set is 7 Laps. This MC is upbeat and has the crowd pumping from go to woe. Again, he gets the crowd to participate by singing the chorus “I ain’t running I ain’t running no more” – and although I have seen Marksman a number of times, each show seems to be unique though the set list may be the same.

After a brief intermission was Pez. His DJ enters first and hypes the crowd up with an awesome Australian hip-hop mix with the likes of Hilltop Hoods and Thundamentals in the mix. I found Pez’s DJ to be an excellent hype-man and had me ready to party. When Pez came out on stage, everyone in the crowd had their hands up. Again, I’m not very versed in Pez’s music but the vibe I did catch was very positive. His second song has a heavy beat, layered with what I perceive to be very meaningful rhymes. Calling out perked my interest with the chorus of “How long we gonna keep on suffering, falling on our knees for nothing; I’ve started to believe in something, it’s kinda here but it’s calling out.” It’s around this time that a member of the crowd offers a drink to Pez, who takes it and places it on the DJ’s table. The next song on the set list was The Game. Pez mentions 360 is going to come out and help on the song, but he doesn’t, which I hold onto with little distaste. I enjoy the song anyway and quickly forget about it right up until the start of The Festival Song. Pez does it again, and I find myself unable to hear the music as I wait in anticipation for 360 to enter the stage, but again he doesn’t come on. After this song, the can of alcohol was passed back to the crowd. But why, I wonder? Is it simply a matter of hygiene, or is there a deeper meaning to this obvious rejection of an alcoholic beverage? Pez wraps up his set with Weekend.

There is a further intermission and then again the crowd is entertained by a DJ – but no 360. Who again, puts in a great effort to get the crowd absolutely raging before 360 comes out. Now. I need you to really grasp this moment. The moment that 360 walked out, I felt a wave of adrenaline, excitement and anticipation rush through the crowd. It was legit crazy. I felt the energy even before I heard or saw it. He cruised on out in and army jacket with the hood over his head looking proper dangerous. The crowd vibe was one of the highest intensities I have felt for a long time. It’s obvious that 360 fans are well on board with him and who he is as an emcee. Special mention to the Astor Theatre – at this moment the light show was on point and as 360 transitioned through songs or hit a point in his lyrics, the light show matched. The lighting at the atmosphere lit up for punch lines and dimmed for expression. 360’s live show is an entire body experience. Playing songs that even I knew, such as Boys Like You, by the end there were songs which I found to enjoy which are on my playlist today, such as I’m Sorry and Tiny Angel, through sheer interest of lyrical content. These were songs straight from the heart – the way this emcee manages to take a life experience and express it through song had gripped me by the heart and locked me into a 3 hour YouTube searching experience. I am compelled to learn more and hear more.

For me, 360’s story is relatable and inspiring. These are the qualities I look for in the music I listen to. After these beautiful moments, 360 kicks into a second portion of the set in which he replays all 3 songs that Pez mentioned that 360 would come on stage for during his set, and invites Pez to come and join him on stage. Now even the resentment I had for him not joining Pez on such iconic songs as The Festival Song and The Weekend, is now swept away. At the end of this portion of the show, 360 has a chat with the crowd about his battle with drugs and mentions he is 3 years clean. By this stage, I’m won. I’m completely sold and am anticipating the next show. 360 finished the show with his latest song Drugs.

I highly recommend listening to 360’s latest tunes for inspiring songs and high quality rhymes. If you get a chance, see this emcee live. You won’t be disappointed.

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