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Review: Hilltop Hoods Restrung Tour


Review: Hilltop Hoods Restrung Tour

Madeleine Manglaras

Sure we have Haighs Chocolates, the malls balls, and Coopers Pale Ale, but if there's something Adelaide's more proud of than being home to a hip hop group founded in the early 90s, you wouldn't have found your answer at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre last night.

MC Suffa, MC Pressure and DJ Debris of the Hilltop Hoods brought it home to where it all began on the hometown leg of their 2016 Restrung Tour, and with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Chamber Singers Choir along for the ride, it was a show not to be missed by hip hop lovers and music appreciators alike. 

Support came from long time buddies Briggs and Trials and their new project, A.B Original; English-Irish Maverick Sabre, a collaborator on their 2014 album 'Walking Under Stars'; and Sydney artist Montaigne, whose vocal perfection can be found on their recent track '1955'.

English-Irish Maverick Sabre is supporting the Hilltop Hoods on their national tour. Image via Maverick Sabre

English-Irish Maverick Sabre is supporting the Hilltop Hoods on their national tour.
Image via Maverick Sabre

The set list consisted of songs from their 2016 release 'Drinking from the Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung', a combination of their two double platinum albums, including 'Higher', 'Speaking In Tongues', 'Rattling the Keys to the Kingdom' and 'I Love It', their song with fellow Adelaidian, Sia. The boys were joined on stage by Sabre during the tracks he features on, 'Live And Let Go' and 'Won't Let You Down', while Montaigne joined them for the chorus in '1955', which Suffa described as "a song we wrote about Adelaide".

Their presence at the AEC with the orchestra was obviously a long-awaited return, with tickets for the show selling out faster than any other Australian city. The last time they were in Adelaide with the Orchestra was 2007, for the Hard Road Restrung Tour. They played the title track 'The Hard Road Restrung', which took a trip down memory lane for long time fans, utilising the incredible sounds of the 32-piece orchestra and 20-piece choir behind them.

"A long time ago we wrote a song called 'The Nosebleed Section'" Suffa said in the middle of the show, to a uproarious response from the crowd.

"Don't get excited, we're not going to play it," he warned, pausing for a moment before grinning. "I'm just fucking with ya, of course we're going to play it."

'Higher' and 'Chase That Feeling' were crowd pleasers, but long-time favourite and fan anthem 'The Nosebleed Section' was met with the biggest response of the night, followed closely by 'Cosby Sweater', which they opened the encore with. 

Sydney singer Montaigne blew everyone away with her voice during '1955'.   Image via the AU Review

Sydney singer Montaigne blew everyone away with her voice during '1955'.
Image via the AU Review

If you're a fan of the Hilltop Hoods or one of those imcomprehensible people who reject Aussie hip hop but worship Kanye, you have to respect the Hoods for their dedication to their fan base. While some bands are disinterested in the people that pay to see them, the Hilltop Hoods went above expectations when it came to involving the crowd - and their Adelaide fans gave just as much back.

They answered every request from the boys: singing entire choruses, lighting up the AEC with their phones, and making a racket for the musicians that supported the Hoods without prompts. The concert transcended from a rap group performing to an audience, to become a musical collaboration, making everyone "one under the music" according to Pressure. 

Despite their success, they haven't lost sight of what's important, and more than two decades later, they're still singing about their 'City of Light'. As a proud Adelaidian, even if you don't dig their music (you few, unfortunate souls out there), you've got to love them for that.

Hilltop Hoods performing 'City of Light Restrung' at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra in 2008. 

Find upcoming tour dates for the Restrung Tour here

Header image via the Hilltop Hoods.