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Review: Young Franco & UV Boi | Metro Theatre, Sydney

Written By Zanda Wilson on 01/22/2017

Young Franco and UV Boi are both such fantastic musicians in their own right that their announcement of a dual headlining national tour came as something of a surprise, but I doubt even their nearest friends could’ve predicted how successful their contrasting styles of production and performance would go on to be when performed B2B. Franco has developed a reputation for up-beat funky disco bangers, while UV Boi has made a name for himself creating understated, slow-burners, and last night they took on their second show of the tour at the Metro Theatre in Sydney, playing two sensational sets to a sold out crowd.

Following warm up sets from BUOY and KWAME, UV Boi took to the stage shortly after 10pm to rapturous applause, and began what was easily one of the most exciting live sets we’ve seen from the Brisbane-hailing artist. Although their equipment on-stage differs greatly, one of the great things about both Young Franco and UV Boi is that they perform entirely without laptops, and the stage was thus littered plenty of paraphernalia for UV to ply his wares on.

Save for a couple of light-cuing issues, which he will undoubtedly work through as he embraces the use of hardware and live performance more – UV Boi thrilled the crowd with an often kooky, sometimes wonky but always warm and inviting tunes. He proved himself equally adept at singing live, playing keyboards and synths, and using hit pads – as he played up to the crowd perfectly and matched the mood in the room. Predictably, his biggest tracks including LUV and Show You were easily the most engaging, and had the entire room singing along.

Usually such a great performance would signal the end of a night of live music, but the beauty of the dual headline show then saw Young Franco then take the stage with a patently different set up. Rather than follow the trend of producers working in more and more hardware into their sets, Franco has chosen a different path, and over the years has been honing and perfecting his skills as a pure DJ and turntablist (no laptop, only decks).

Thinking of electronic musicians around the world who are still fully embraced the old-school art of DJing, very few come to mind. One that immediately springs forth is Canadian expert turntablist A-Trak, known for his amazing live mixing, pin-point transitions and always relevant party sets, and although Young Franco has some way to go it would not be outlandish to think in time he may go on to be Australia’s answer to A-Trak. Though that would be over-simplifying what the Brisbane producer brings to the table for his sets, and that’s a flawless understanding of what’s popular, fresh and relevant when it comes to the latest beats he includes in his sets. Throughout his performance he mixed in Kaytranada and Anderson .Paak, as well as a slew of local artists’ music and plenty of his own funk-driven bangers in a set that turned the Metro Theatre into the best club in Sydney for an hour-long set.

Young Franco had the entire crowd singing along to his latest tune Miss You, as well as his defining track to date Drop Your Love, and some older ones Don’t Stop and U Want Me. During instrumental tracks, the atmosphere was so electric that the crowd organically began chants like “aaayy, oohhh” in sync with Franco’s mixing – and to finish, he ducked behind his decks and chucked on a Keep Sydney Open shirt in a nod to the cancelled rally that had been planned for that night. He then brought UV Boi back on stage so that they could preview a new collab in an impeccable end to the night.