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Live Reviews : Body Count, AB Original and Void of Vision @ Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane 01/06/2017

By on June 2, 2017

Images: Rebecca Reid
Words: Gene Banyard

Body Count are back and they are more brilliant, outspoken and brutal then ever! Fronted by legendary gangster rapper Ice T, Body Count hails from Los Angeles, California and formed in 1990, to allow Ice T’s friend Ernie C to showcase his prodigious guitar playing skills and for Ice and Ernie to indulge in their passion for Punk Rock, Hip Hop & Metal. Ernie composed the music and Ice T of course composed the lyrics, they released their self-titled album with the infamous single ‘Cop Killer’ and controversy was born. That was 1992, it’s now 2017, the question begs, is Gangster-Metal still relevant in 2017?

As I waited for that question to be answered I checked out the two support acts – Melbourne’s Metal outfit Void of Vision and fellow South Australian Hip-Hop duo AB Original (featuring emcees Briggs & Trials on the mic). Void of Vision were up first and presented an eclectic mix of Tech-Metal, Metalcore and Rap. Whilst technically proficient and high energy on stage, the choreographed dance movements of the guitarists, left a little to be desired for an audience, that for the large part, were the age of Void of Vision when Body Count’s first album was released. Next up were AB Original.

The bass boomed and the beat banged as Briggs and Trials showed how strong The South truly is when it comes to the music of sub-culture and social commentary and with the surprise audition of DJ Total Eclipse on the turntables, their set turned out to be highly professional and enjoyable. Eclipse’s solo demonstration of his skills on the decks near defied description as the beat-matching and scratching just got faster and faster.

When Body Count finally hit the stage, the Tivoli was crowded, the energy was high and the stage was set for them to bring the brutality back after a two decades plus absence on a Brisbane stage. The opening song showcased their musical influences and their amplitude for destroying a live set – Slayer‘s ‘Reign in Blood’. As the set progressed, Ice T proved that age is no factor for a front-man such as himself. He simultaneously had the audience laughing, thinking and moshing throughout the night. The band killed it like very few groups I have seen before. It is obvious that they are a tight crew, who know how each other profoundly well and thinks and this is obvious in their dynamic stage presence and their musical proficiency. This proficiency was made startling clear to me when Ernie C. was given the stage to himself for a blistering guitar solo to flesh out their track C Note. All of the new hits from were pulled out and performed with power, aggression and skill (No Lives Matter, Black Hoodie, The Ski Mask Way) but it was their classic tracks – ‘There Goes The Neighbourhood’, ‘Drive By’, ‘Body Count’ and of course, ‘Cop Killer’, that really got the Brisbane crowd roaring and stomping for more. I will not spoil the encore line-up for anyone in Sydney or Melbourne, but know that it contains another old skool, killer cover and Ice T’s own reworking of the encore gimmick itself.

Overall, a great return for a legendary band that has kept the spirit of rebellion and consideration for your fellow man alive for over 20 years in music and I cannot see why they could not do for another 20 more. The world needs Body Count and Body Count are not going anywhere or compromising a thing.

Catch Body Count in Melbourne tonight (June 2nd) at Margret Court Arena. Followed by their final Australian show on the Bloodlust tour in Sydney, tomorrow night (June 3rd) at Luna Park Big Top. Tickets from Ticketmaster and Ticketek.