Regional touring festival Groovin the Moo has kicked it out of the park this year.
They managed to pull together a lineup that included multiple acts who have just graced the stages of Coachella (Sofi Tukker, Fisher, Billie Eilish), a huge 90s throwback act (Coolio) and some of Australia’s top talent (Thelma Plum, Jack River, Trophy Eyes). The stellar lineup also happened to include two energetic international acts, MØ and Duckwrth, both capable of filling a venue by themselves. Luckily for us, however, they decided to team up for a string of shows, and on Wednesday night it was Sydney’s turn to be entertained.
L.A. rapper Duckwrth was up first. Despite the early weeknight set time, the Metro was pretty full by the time he and his entourage took the stage. He acknowledged the effort punters had made to come and see him so early, and rewarded us for it. His energy was infectious, and many of the young crowd were jumping along with him as he tore through a mix of old and new tracks. Latest single ‘Love Is Like A Moshpit’ is a clear hit, with the theatre bopping along to Duckwrth’s catchy flow. ‘Start A Riot’, a grimey track from the Into the Spiderverse film soundtrack, saw a few boys start to look like they really did want to start a riot, but overall the crowd was just having a good time.
Danish singer MØ took the stage about 40 minutes after Duckwrth wrapped up. The crowd had swelled during this time, and the standing area was packed to the brim. Strutting onto the stage sporting an almost comically huge hat, it was clear that MØ was here to put on a show. The set began with a slower track from her latest record Forever Neverland, ‘Purple Like The Summer Rain’. It was good to get this out of the way first, so that we could move into some of her more high-energy songs. For many punters, the third song of the set may have been their introduction to MØ’s Scandinavian brand of pop. ‘Kamikaze’ saw the stage light up, with MØ’s band working overtime to keep up with her jumping and dancing. Known for getting up close and personal with the crowd, it was also during ‘Kamikaze’ that the front row got their first chance to sing and dance with her when she jumped up on the front of the barrier. This proved to be the first of many times MØ would jump into the crowd, becoming one with the crowd and interacting with her fans.
‘Red Wine’ saw her move through the middle of the crowd, up onto the bleacher style seating of the Metro Theatre. An anxious-looking security guard followed her the whole way, but at least from where I was standing the crowd all seemed to be respectful of her. It was a nice way to change things up a bit, ensuring her set would be one the crowd would remember. It also meant that those who couldn’t, or didn’t want to, arrive at the beginning of the evening still had the opportunity to see MØ up close.
The rest of the show was packed full of hits. ‘Sun In Our Eyes’, ‘Way Down’ and ‘Nights With You’ showcased why MØ is finally getting the acclaim she deserves. She also treated us to a cover of Dominic Fike’s ‘3 Nights’, which she performed for Triple J’s Like A Version the week before. MØ put her own spin on the track, slowing it down a bit and adding a moodier vibe to Fike’s boppy original. Having watched the video of her Triple J performance, it was interesting to see how it translated to her live set. For me, I enjoyed it much more in the flesh than I had on first listen, which is a testament to how engrossing her live show is.
Not many artists have a song perfect for an encore, but MØ has one that does the trick well. It’s hard to imagine her playing anything other than ‘Final Song’ as her last track. The crowd loves it, and the lyrics sum up how we all felt about the show: “Don’t let this be our final song”. As MØ crowd-surfed around the Theatre, like a victory lap, it didn’t feel like a permanent goodbye. If you weren’t a fan of the Danish pop star before the show, you certainly would have been afterwards, and I’m sure many of us will be seeing her again when she returns to Australia.