Tkay Maidza @ Northcote Social Club

It’s been two weeks since we saw Tkay Maidza at the Northcote Social Club. That’s a long time to put off writing a review but hey, you’ll find out why.

I’ll start off by explaining the Tkay situation at art felicis. Basically we love this chick. We’ve been following her journey since her brief appearance at Nina Las Vegas Presents last year and she played a sick set at Falls Festival in Tasmania’s Marion Bay. She built up a decent crowd in the middle of the day and ended her performance by inviting a few fans on stage to dance to “U-Huh” and spray the audience with water guns.

When Taylor Swift was disqualified from Triple J’s Hottest 100, Tkay’s “Switch Lanes” snagged the #100 spot. Happiness all round.

We also coined a term known as the “Tkay Curse”. Since Nina Las Vegas Presents, Jane and a few of our friends have struggled to catch Tkay perform live. Jane missed her set at Falls and we decided to skip her set at Laneway to catch FKA twigs instead. Didn’t think this would be a problem because she was performing at St Kilda Fest the next day but some awkward scheduling issues led her to cancel.

At least Jane picked up a merch tee.

So when Tkay announced her national tour, you can imagine our excitement. It had been building for a looong time. Could finally break the curse.

But I’ve gotta say… her gig at the Northcote Social Club was kind of underwhelming.

It wasn’t a bad show. Far from it. But I wasn’t blown away and I recall her set at Falls Festival to be bucketloads of fun.

She started off with “Brontosaurus” before saying, “Am I sweating already? I’m only one song in.”

A mild start accompanied by a cute and candid comment. Yeah, the stage seemed a little bit small for her presence and the DJ’s equipment was taking up a lot of space but it wasn’t anything major.

The crowd was slow to warm up. She launched into a a longer DJ set that combined “Arm Up”, “Finish Them” and “Wishes” which set up the rest of her performance. Most of her songs flowed into the next using techniques I recognised from her mixtape.

She slayed her raps in “M.O.B.” and “U-Huh”, and did a pretty good job of remixing Cashmere Cat.

But it never really felt like the crowd was 100% there. Was the stage too small? Is she more of a festival act? Sometimes it felt like she was racing through the set. But it still lasted around 45 minutes? We did catch her Thursday show. Was Friday more hectic? Maybe we were too far back in the crowd?

It was hard to pinpoint exactly what disappointed us but despite all the energy and sweat, she didn’t really bring it. The lead-up to her show could have been a factor. Our expectations were very high.

What’s worse was her awkward encore at the end. She finished with “U-Huh”, said bye to the crowd and walked off stage.

What? Are you serious? You haven’t even played “Switch Lanes” yet. Your national tour and you’re not playing your Triple J Hottest 100 track? Come on.

It took two awkward “one more song” chants from just one dude in the crowd to bring her back on stage. It was probably the worst faux encore I’ve ever witnessed, especially because Tkay seems like such a cool and genuine chick.

Her encore included “Handle My Ego”, a track from two years ago, and of course “Switch Lanes”. She should have just played those last two at the end and skipped the whole encore farce altogether.

We still love Tkay. Immensely. And we predict huge things for her in the future. She’s one of the most talented rappers to come out of Australia and all of her tracks are serious bangers. But her gig at the Northcote Social Club fell short and we left feeling a bit meh. So that’s why I’ve been putting it off. It’s never fun to write a meh review of someone you love.

Oh and we missed her set at Groovin The Moo. We drove up, got a bit lost on the way and arrived late. The “Tkay Curse” lives on. 🙁

Ciao ciao, Arianna.

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