The line to get into UC refectory was almost never-ending last Thursday evening as punters prepared themselves for a night of serious Australian hip hop. Briggs, Horrorshow and Hilltop Hoods were to be gracing the stage that night, treating us all to some sweet beats and catchy rhymes.

Once I made it inside the refectory I was impressed by the large stage and even bigger speakers blasting away. The bass was so heavy I could feel it vibrating through my jeans. Just when I thought the music couldn’t get any louder; Briggs took to the stage and proved just how hard those speakers could work.

Briggs had control of the massive crowd as soon as he appeared. Arms were raised and swaying in time to his heavy beats and pumping bass, and his onstage banter with the crowd, though interspersed with some rather colourful language was lighthearted and encouraging. This truly captured the mood of the packed out venue, everyone under one roof, simply there for the love of music.

Once Briggs had heated up the crowd it was time for the highly anticipated group Horrorshow to take over the stage. The reception Horrorshow received when first stepping onto the stage was huge, the crowd acted as if they’d been waiting all night for a glimpse of the hip hop duo from Sydney. Horrorshow’s sound was mellower than Briggs, catchy riffs were delivered by piano rather than guitar or bass. However, just because their sound was a little more sedentary by no means meant the crowd cooled down. People were moshing and almost all arms were raised and moving in time to the beat of Horrorshow’s songs.

Horrorshow’s performance was over all too quickly and it seemed just as the audience were really getting the feel of the Duo’s sound, they had to bid us all adieu. But as the saying goes; when one door closes a window opens, and Horrorshow’s departure meant one thing; The Hilltop Hoods were coming up next!

The refectory buzzed with activity, the crowd condensed and people crammed themselves into the tightly packed mosh at the front, ready to catch a glimpse of the ‘Hoods. The pair burst on stage, and the audience went wild and as Hilltop Hoods launched into their first song the crowd could hardly contain their joy. Arms were swaying, punters were jumping and girls were squealing with delight.

It seemed every song Hilltop Hoods belted out was a favourite. The crowd went crazy for their early tracks such as Nosebleed Section, and The Hard Road, but their newer songs also proved to be crowd pleasers, with songs such as Chase that Feeling and “Still Standing” receiving much love from the audience.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and this night of hip hop was almost over. Hilltop Hoods treated the Canberra audience to a slamming encore, and even encouraged everyone to wave their phones or cigarette lighters in time to the music. The crowd was transformed into a twinkling sea of swaying lights, concluding the night on a somewhat magical high.

Photography by Chris Whitfield