Baker Boy at RCC Utopia
On an absolutely frenetic opening night down the Rundle end of town, we ventured to the hotly anticipated opening night at RCC Utopia. Featuring the one and only Baker Boy.
The RCC has returned in full flight to the grounds of Adelaide University for the 2020 season, seizing an expanded festival space for late night entertainment. Utopia and Neon now co-habitat on the maths lawns, but surprisingly the layout has been well designed to ensure no sound competition between each. Be prepared – the crowd is younger than other late night Fringe venues, and it can be pretty rowdy after a couple of wine spritzers, regardless of who’s on the main stage.
Hailing from Arnhem Land, Baker Boy’s star really took off in 2017 with recognition from the Triple J Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards, but did you know that he’s also a founding member of Fringe Festival favourites Djuki Mala? It makes total sense when Baker Boy bursts on stage with the kind of high energy vibe and moves of few contemporaries. Moving seamlessly between English and Yolngu languages, Baker Boy spends every scrap of his considerable energy living each track 100%. Blending samples and hooks from funk, jazz, 90s RNB and beyond, Baker Boy never lazily relies the fame of a sample to drive the momentum. Lyrics with positive themes are a fresh glimpse to a musical genre that’s often maligned by struggle and violence, and was the perfect soundtrack for the blistering opening performance. The call and response of Hottest 100 track Cloud 9 had the crowd in top voice, and Black Magic was a sparkling highlight filled with vibe and energy. Making the most of his fabulous dance ensemble, he smartly broke up the set with their well-timed performances to classic tracks by a range of artists. Baker Boy was a timely, sunny choice for opening night. His star is certain to rise further both here and internationally.
Review by Sarah List