It’s a cold winter Saturday night in Sydney and whilst the bright lights of Vivid festival are lighting up the Opera House the real action is about to go down over at the Big Top in Luna Park. Rap metal band Body Count are about to take the stage in Sydney for the first time in over twenty years. For the uninitiated Body Count are an American band fronted by iconic actor and rapper Ice T.
Body Count did something that I’d rarely seen live and that was hitting the stage early. This caught many punters off guard quickly racing from the bar towards the stage to witness the action. Ice T and his band were menacing and relentless throughout the whole night giving fans a series of tracks from all their albums. Amongst the songs were introductions to tracks by Ice T, guitar solos, drum solos and even a guy in a Donald Trump mask who got close lined on stage by Ice T.
The predominately male crowd were rowdy and loving every minute of the loud unrelenting Body Count. Whether this was their first Body Count experience or a reliving of their youth when they first saw them you could tell no one in the building would be forgetting this night anytime soon. Original guitarist Ernie C may be in his late fifties but he was shredding away and full of energy that would put a lot of younger bands to shame.
Some setlist highlights came from “there goes the neighbourhood” which had a groove that bounced off the walls. “No lives matter” and “Black Hoodie” showed the newer tracks stand up well compared to the old classics. Then towards the end of the set came a three song assault featuring “the ski mask way” “talk shit, get shot” and followed up by the heavy hitting “cop killer”. If the night had of ended then it would not of still been an awesome show but then Ice T proceeded to tell the audience he’s not going to go off stage and come back on again. So Body Count decided to do a virtual encore where the band turns their backs and audience pretend they have left the stage chanting Body Count, Body Count, Body Count.
The band turns back around to huge cheers from the crowd to then give us three more songs. One being the song that first got me into the band many, many years ago “born dead”. The last song would be an insight into LA street gang mentality and revenge with the slowed down track “this is why we ride”. Ice T then thanked the crowd as they band left the stage to huge applause and cheers from slightly drunk but appreciative crowd. Since it took them over twenty years to return to Australia I’ve got a feeling they won’t be back again. But I am truly thankful I got to see Ice T and the thought provoking tracks of Body Count live finally.