In what was one of the wettest and coldest days that Melbourne has seen this year, Australia’s favourite party boys Peking Duk brought nothing but absolute heat and fire to a packed out Melbourne Arena as part of their ‘Biggest Tour Ever’.
From the outset, this loomed as arguably the most inclusive show that Melbourne Arena may have ever hosted. With an absolutely packed out mosh set to let rip on a high energy set on the horizon, the Peking Duk boys took this one step further by bringing along Auslan Stage Left signing the entire show, making sure everyone could be apart of the night.
Luring us in with the ‘Jurassic Park’ styled introduction full of thunderstorm effects in the lighting, the night kicked off in emphatic style through the monster hit ‘Fake Magic’. With a three piece band setup of live drums, the Peking Duk boys behind their respective controls of keys/synths and midi controllers amongst their live bass and guitars, ‘Fake Magic’ smacked you across the face with its monstrous bass combining with the commanding presence of Michaela Baranov‘s vocals.
Leading away from the opener through a charismatic rap break down by Adam Hyde, Peking Duk continued the wave of hits through the anthemic ‘Wasted’, which saw both Adam and Reuben jump on the mics to lead the vocals. The contrasting nature of Adam’s raspy melodies and Reuben’s enchanting tones was well received by the crowd, acting as the perfect podium for the crowd to launch off amongst the eye-catching lighting and stage show that was on offer. Before you could even catch a breath, Peking Duk continued bringing out all their bangers with recent smash hits ‘Sugar’ and ‘Say My Name’ going back to back, which saw some serious heat from Chris Sebastian, Kwame and Baranov respectively that fed into the resounding bass and energy within the instrumentation.
One of the key highlights of the night had to be the duo’s latest single ‘Ur Eyez’, which saw Cloud Control‘s Al Wright join the boys on stage. The catchiness of the vocals and upbeat nature was further accentuated beyond your wildest dreams, as fireworks, smoke, elaborate lighting and streamers sent the Melbourne Arena stage to another dimension and the crowd was absolutely loving every single second. Peking Duk showed extreme appreciation to the crowd for the moments that just happened, thanking the crowd for being apart of such an emphatic moment.
After continuing the charge with ‘Let You Down’ which saw Reuben driving the power of this track through the samples in the midi controller, Peking Duk took a step back and brought back Al Wright for an acoustic breakdown to give everyone a chance to regain their breath. Showing their humour that we’ve all come to love about the duo, Peking Duk bring forth an interpretive dance surrounded by the twirling ribbons that everyone in the crowd was loving.
With a throw back to the early days, old school fans were treated to the 2013 offering ‘The Way You Are’ which for many was their first introduction to Peking Duk. With fire coming through the guitars, fans were left gobsmacked and seriously impressed that the energy continued to mystify them. It didn’t stop here though, after an elegant introduction of keys and the impressive isolated vocals Peking Duk jumped right into ‘Fire’ which was arguably the most impressive lighting and fire show of the whole set.
After a high octane cover of Blur‘s ‘Song 2’ with Kira Puru‘s powerful tones, and a short spoof cover of Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga‘s ‘Shallow’ that got the crowd in hysterics, Peking Duk began the final moments of the night through an acoustic opening for ‘Take Me Over’, which saw Chris Sebastian engage with the crowd and allow them to lead memorable chorus line themselves. From here, ‘Stranger’ in partnership with the commanding drums brought forth those ferocious fire streams to warm fans up to what they all knew was coming – the finale track of ‘High’. Peking Duk got all fans, regardless if they were sitting or standing, to be on someones shoulders which was a true spectacle for the eyes.
Overall Peking Duk made Melbourne Arena their own and produced what was an elaborate and enticing show full of surprises and high pulsing energy that will be hard to top in years to come.