Dr Seuss meets Elefant Traks is definitely a rare occasion that one could not miss. The show was held at one of the most iconic venues in the world, the Sydney Opera House. Elefant Traks is a Sydney-based label that features renowned Australian hip hop / soul / electronic artists such as Sky’High, Ozi Batla, The Herd, Hermitude, Sietta, Urthboy, Unkle Ho, The Tongue, Horrorshow, Joelistics and The Last Kinection just to name a few.
With the combination of the great works of Dr Seuss and Elefant Traks it was obvious that we were in for a treat. I was particularly curious as to how the two would work together. They may seemingly have nothing in common however what we found was the opposite. Must I say, what a brilliant idea by Jordan Verzar (co-curator of Graphic Festival). What one found is that there was a consistency of rhythmic dialogue taken from Dr Seuss books combined with quick witted, fluid rhymes and Elefantified renditions of Dr. Seuss’ stories, whilst simultaneously showcasing illustrations on the big screen throughout each performance.
Urthboy and The Herd’s lead singer Jane Tyrrell opened with ‘We Get Around’, from the album The Signal (2007). Not too long after Joelistics did a quick set before Jaytee (The Last Kinection) and Joel Harrison performed a set of ‘Turntablism’ – a personal favourite. Another one of my favourites of the night was ‘Trouble In The Water’ which included Caiti Baker (Sietta), Jane Tyrrell and Jimblah and Hermitude’s cut versions of ‘Let You Go’ and ‘Hyper Paradise’ definitely hyped the night.
The Tongue’s narration of ‘Gerald McBoing-Boing’ was hilarious as he mimicked the characters voices quite eloquently and vivaciously. Toe-fu did an eerily great job narrating the ‘Sleep book’ a dark scene illustrating nightmares. Sky High’s energetic rendition of ‘Fox In Socks’ alongside two dancers who were krumping was a winner, not to mention her blingy jacket full of shiny sequences and dope tee with the statement ‘RUN FREE”. I also enjoyed the live MPC jam to ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ with James Mangohig (Sietta) and Unkle Ho. ‘Bold Passenger’ was another favourite, it would be difficult to just choose one. The Tongue’s recital of ‘Zax’ was well played as well as ‘In My Haze’ with Horrorshow and Jane Tyrell.
It was refreshing to see a respected man of hip hop knowledge and music, L-Fresh The Lion, earlier this year performing at The Street University and to appear as a guest on the show last night. He did a fabulous job playing what seemed to be, the “good conscience” in ‘Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are’. It seemed like the concept was similar to Eminem’s video clip to ‘Guilty Conscience’ except in a lighter manner and in a different story of course. One could not forget The Herd’s rendition of the infamous story of ‘The Cat In the Hat’. Finally everyone performed together leaving time for an encore performance which was the ultimate crescendo summing up this historical night.
I would of loved to hear many other songs by Elefant Traks artists but it’s understandable that would of taken all night. The first show was so good and it wasn’t often that this occurred so I attended the second show and enjoyed it just as much. It’s ashame other states could not witness what is known to be a rare event as well as a DVD has not been recorded. Hopefully in the future some time there would be another one. But this time, you have my word it was epic.
Overall, Dr Seuss Meets Elefant Traks was a successful night (for both shows) where the crowd’s standing ovations are evidence of this success. As a reviewer, I have been to many shows throughout the year and this has definitely been the best production / concert that I have been to this year. I haven’t seen anything like it before. The combination of hip hop and classic illustration – definitely an event to include in Australia’s music history!
For photographs of the night check out Mosca Media Facebook page by clicking here!