Heavyweight Kiwi music acts The Mint Chicks and King Kapisi went blow for blow during the second ever Soundclash in Auckland. Reviewer Chris Schulz was there.
Soundclash: Mint Chicks vs King Kapisi
Where: Powerstation, Auckland
When: Friday, April 24
It’s unlikely you’ve ever seen this at a live concert before: The Mint Chicks spraying champagne over fans while hotpant-clad promo girls shake their booty during a cover of hip-hop superstar Lil Wayne’s blinging hit A Milli.
Did I mention the Auckland band’s three members were wearing ski masks at the time? It doesn’t get much more random than that.
If you think that’s crazy, wait till you’ve heard King Kapisi’s haphazard nu-metal version of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck, complete with head-banging, devil’s horns and ridiculously complicated guitar solo - courtesy of the Kiwi rapper’s new live band.
Yep, Soundclash - the second such event sponsored by a high-profile energy drink brand - was scarily surreal, slightly unhinged and occasionally straight out bonkers.
It was the kind of night where promo girls in ridiculously small gold shorts strutted their stuff, band members got amongst it in the crowd and entire bottles of vodka were poured over fans.
If you were standing anywhere near the front row, towels - and, possibly, bandaids - were a necessity.
Then there was the music, in which the two opposing bands faced off, trading songs in a faux-boxing style encounter, complete with ring announcer.
The idea behind the concept is this: The two bands perform on opposing stages, working through different musical challenges - or “rounds” - while hyping up the crowd in a bid to win the most applause.
There were dedicated rounds for cover songs and secret guests, but the best was called “The Takeover”, in which each band had to finish the other’s songs like a live mash-up.
It was during this round that King Kapisi could be found crooning the chorus to Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, while the Chicks provided a typically brutal finish for Kapisi’s otherwise R&B-infused single Subcranium Feeling.
The covers were hit and miss, as Kapisi battled his way through Red Hot Chili Peppers’ version of Stevie Wonder’sHigher Ground, while the Mint Chicks gave the Beatles’ Helter Skelter a Slipknot style makeover - complete with masks.
But it ended, somewhat appropriately, with erstwhile local rocker Chris Knox ripping his clothes off, staggering through the crowd and fellating a microphone during the Tall Dwarf’s Nothing’s Going to Happen. Told you it was surreal.
Who won? For the record, it was a draw. But when a live show is this entertaining, the result is simply for the books.