Lil Nas X stuns Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion

Lil Nas X
Hordern Pavilion
★★★★

I first got wind of Lil Nas X in 2019 in a tiny western Australian town called Yalgoo, which is where his breakthrough song was Altstadtstrasse – a somewhat radical mix of country and rap – made even the shyest elementary school students dance.

Across the country, four years later, Montero Lamar Hill, himself from a small Georgia town, plays to a sold-out pavilion. The performer is so flamboyant and comfortable on stage that it’s hard to believe he ever shied away from himself.

The narrative of the Lil Nas X shows is driven by animations set against a huge backdrop.

The narrative of the Lil Nas X shows is driven by animations set against a huge backdrop.Credit:Getty

Hill’s fame came after years of isolating and coming to terms with his sexuality during his teenage years. It’s been a journey for the 23-year-old, but young concert-goers at his first show in Sydney dressed and showed up with violence.

A goddess-like woman shimmers in the stage backdrop, weaving narrative through the show. “It was all dark at first,” she proclaims, before a burst of color and smoke ushers in one of Hill’s early hits: panini.

The atmosphere is beautifully otherworldly, while the animated background moves between futuristic, surreal and intergalactic imagery – while maintaining a sense of royalty. Lil Nas X is an excellent performer, distorting and slicing the air with sharp moves accented by his back-up dancers.

The performer is so flamboyant and comfortable on stage that it's hard to believe he ever shied away from himself.

The performer is so flamboyant and comfortable on stage that it’s hard to believe he ever shied away from himself.Credit:Morgan Hancock/Getty Images

Meanwhile, a golden horse appears on stage for a brief dreamlike moment old town street, a rendition that remains intriguing through changes in tempo and time signature. There is never a moment of monotony.

The dazzling costumes, including a giant pair of butterfly wings, don’t escape attention — but it’s the rapper’s fearless energy, sass and poise when he wears Beyonce’s cover PURE HONEY and plays his own 2021 number DO NOT WANT IT. Maybe it’s this momentum that allows him to shine on songs like THIS IS WHAT I WANT, driven by a throbbing bass.

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/lil-nas-x-stuns-as-he-sets-foot-in-sydney-20230104-p5cae1.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Lil Nas X stuns Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion

Jaclyn Diaz

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