If there was one word that best described Fatboy Slim’s performance, it was synchronisation. Synchronisation between 52 year old Norman Cook and the audience. Synchronisation between the stunning audio-visuals. And synchronisation between the music and the electrifying atmosphere that encompassed the outdoor venue. The British DJ had the Riverstage in the palm of his hands with every flick of a switch, creating an exhilarating 90 minute set of pure precision that pleased the Brisbane crowd from beginning to end.
Donning his signature Hawaiian shirt, Cook took to the stage barefoot with a huge grin on his face. There was no time for pleasantries as the DJ started miming the words ‘So there was this DJ who was like kicking off…’. The words ‘Eat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.’ flashed across the screen behind him and the crowd chanted along like an army. Fatboy Slim was like a puppet master, plucking at the heart strings of every person losing themselves to the beat.
DJ sets are almost always compromised of a performance behind a desk, where said DJ will control the crowd. If the DJ put their hands up, so would the audience. If the DJ told them to jump, they would jump. But when Fatboy Slim slipped out of his desk and crouched down in front of the stage, everyone knew they were in for more than simple back and forth calling and clapping. Cook asked for the audience to ‘go low’. One by one every person in the venue started crouching down. Suddenly the bass swelled up and the music got louder and louder. The DJ slowly started standing up and the crowd followed instantaneously, rising along to the blaring track.
Playfully shaking his hips and fist-pumping the air, Fatboy Slim’s goofy and spontaneous manner continued the night with a plethora of classic mixes from The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army, House Of Pain’s Jump Around and even Iggy Azalea’s Fancy. But one notable remix was Cook’s homage to David Bowie, starting off with a video reel of famous morphing faces that ended with the ‘Starman’ himself and a personal rendition of Rebel Rebel which played alongside Fatboy Slim’s own hit Right Here, Right Now.
The night drew to a close with a simple, laid-back version of Praise You that had everyone singing along. Putting the song on loop, Cook left his desk once again to applaud his audience. Upon his return to the desk, he gestured the crowd for one more song and played The Rockefeller Skank. As the last bass line lingered on, the ‘funk soul brother’ disappeared into the dark stage, leaving behind a sweaty pool of adoring fans.