Reviewed on Wednesday October 23.
After an extended twenty minutes of the drab pop mixes of DJ K-note, the small-but-faithful crowd were foaming at the bit for the arrival of their high school sweethearts Gym Class Heroes. The band opened with the rousing ‘Cookie Jar’ and the clubby ‘Ass Back Home’, and the devoted fan base seemed fully satisfied with how the night was proceeding.
Lead singer/rapper Travie McCoy is every bit the frontman, his cartoon expressions and cheeky winks all a part of his well-oiled live performance. Constantly reminding us that Sydney has THE sexiest girls in all of the universe, he had the girls and gay boys swooning, whilst simultaneously breaking the hearts of the girls from Melbourne next to us.
After hearing ‘Clothes Off!’ (featuring Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump) and ‘Peace Sign/Index Down’ (featuring Busta Rhymes), it seemed as though the band were playing it safe with their bigger singles. Dropping their huge collaborations with Bruno Mars (‘Billionaire’) and Adam Levine (‘Stereo Hearts’) went off like fireworks – the pop heavyweights they’ve worked with over the years are a real testament to their success.
The crowd’s enthusiasm tapered off a little as some flatfooted new material was dropped, and in an attempt to reignite the fervour, they launched into arguably their biggest hit, the Supertramp-sampling ‘Cupid’s Chokehold’. The reception for this prompted Travie and the band to delve into their earlier discography, playing material from 2001’s …For The Kids and 2005’s The Papercut Chronicles. While it was nice to take a walk down memory lane, one does wonder how creatively stimulating or satisfying it is for Gym Class Heroes to bask in the glory of what they once were – they seemed to enjoy it though, and it was good to see. Gym Class Heroes toe this odd line between hip hop, funk and sugar pop, and their live show gives their clean cut studio songs a little more flesh, with the band indulging in guitar solos and much heavier drum splays.
The band came back for the encore and continued with music from their halcyon days, playing two more songs off The Papercut Chronicles before departing. Despite the very predictable set list, the cliched banter and the smallish crowd, they still put on a great show. Gym Class Heroes are kinda like an over 35s soccer team – a little more sluggish, older and chubbier than they used to be, but playing every week like it could be their last.
BY RACHITHA SENEVIRATNE