Summerbeatz is the latest urban music festival to hit Australia - hot on the heels of its sister event Winterbeatz and the trail blazing Supafest - and I decided to catch the Sydney gig on Saturday night. If I'm completely honest the line up of Stan Walker, Ja Rule, Travie McCoy, Ciara, Flo Rida and Akon kind of made me want to kill myself but it turned out to be a ridiculously fun night. Which could also have had something to do with those lethal glow in the dark frozen daiquiris they serve at Acer Arena. Back to the concert. I arrived late, so I missed out on Stan Walker and Ja Rule strutting their stuff but I did catch Travie McCoy's set. He really knows how to work a crowd and drove the girls standing next to me into a wet pantie frenzy. The highlight was definitely "Billionaire", which works brilliantly in the sing-a-long context of a live show. I even got to meet Travie backstage after his set (photo on Facebook) and he was taller, skinnier and higher than I could have imagined. He seemed like a really cool guy though and I now feel obliged to give his album another listen. Next up was Ciara or C-Error as she is not so affectionately known by my fellow Beyoncé stans. Despite her past sins against the Queen of R'n'B, I have a soft spot for CiCi and was really looking forward to her show. And she delivered. Ciara doesn't have the biggest voice in music but the bitch can dance. Kind of like Janet before she became obsolete. It was great to finally hear classics like "Goodies" and "1, 2 Step" performed live and she made my night by belting out 2010's hottest sex jam "Ride". Other new songs from her soon to be released "Basic Instinct" album went down well, so it mightn't be the bomb everyone is expecting. If nothing else, Super CiCi proved she is still one of the hottest properties in urban music and a true dancing machine.
Ciara was always going to be a hard act to follow but I was shocked by how much I enjoyed Flo Rida's set. He's a surprisingly good live performer and I keep forgetting how many big hits he now has under his belt. I obviously preferred his more poptastic offerings like "Round Round" and "Low" but the rest of his tunes were eagerly devoured by fans. Mr Rida knows how to work the stage and really drove the crowd into a frenzy when he ventured into the audience on the back of a security guard. He went right past me and I got his ab sweat all over my face. It tasted like salt & vinegar chips! Flo Rida fittingly ended his set with the amazing "Club Can't Handle Me", which is still one of my favourite songs of 2010. Next up was the headliner Akon, who I've already seen perform twice this year. Akon is another performer who knows how to put on a show - coming out into the crowd in a giant beach ball (below) was a brilliant touch - but his incessant crowd surfing is starting to get a bit annoying. Nevertheless, it was great hearing "Sexy Bitch", "Put The Blame On Me" and his latest (surprisingly good) single "Angel". I'm now a total convert to the urban music festival scene and can't wait for the next Supafest in April! The afterparty was also fun and I got to hang out with Stan Walker, who is such a nice guy. I'm gonna have to wade through this blog and delete everything I've ever written about him. Stan, I take it all back. You're the new King of Australian pop!