Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles, better known as Peking Duk have become one of Australia’s most patriotic and electric acts, as they continue to set stages and radio waves alight all over the country. After another monumental year for the duo, May 3rd marked show 13 on The Duk’s return to The City of Churches ready to “set [Thebarton Theatre] on fire” on their ‘Biggest Tour Ever’.
The evening was kicked off with two of Triple J’s most championed artists of the past year, Kira Puru and Kwame. This provided a contrasting introduction to proceedings as Puru’s funky basslines and melodies in hits such as Molotov met Kwame’s hard-hitting rhymes and flows that really ‘WOW[ed]’ the audience.
After a short intermission and quick change of the stage it was time for the main event. The lights dimmed and the sounds of rain and thunder began to fill the theatre which seemed appropriate considering the gloomy weather outside. The atmosphere built until the Aussie pair and their drummer entered the stage in a mixture of light and CO2 to kick things into gear. This introduction led into the first anthem of the evening Fake Magic, originally featured by British songstress Aluna George. This was followed by Peking Duk’s recent hit Sugar setting the tone early, that tone being more of a party than a stage show. Audience participation was also at a high as it was clear that a key feature of the night would be Peking Duk’s backup choir, aka the crowd.
From there hits kept coming as they kicked into the duo’s latest Ur Eyez that provided a relaxed ambience. This would reach the climax of streamers flying out over the audience during the final chorus. Adelaide’s very own Chris Sebastian lent his vocals replacing the group’s usual male vocalists. These included replacements of Safia’s Ben Woolner on collaborations such as Say My Name, which we were big shoes filled well. It’s hard to pick highlight tracks as every song Peking Duk releases seems to be a commercial success. That being said, Wasted, ‘Let you down’ and ‘Fire’ were showstoppers with not a single audience member silent or stagnant throughout their entirety.
Adam and Reuben broke up the show with entertaining intermissions. Highlights included Kira Piru’s return to the stage to help the band cover Blur’s Song 2, singing happy Brithday to their production technician and the pair’s ribbon dance duet to Enya’s Only Time. This was paired with moments used to connect with the audience through witty banter. Be it stories from previous trips to Adelaide or a beer chug-off between the two of them. It was seemingly unrehearsed moments like these that gave a different dynamic to the show and the pair as it felt you were longer watching a show, rather best mates having the time of their lives.
The show aimed to end with a blockbuster closing with arguably Peking Duk’s biggest three hits. This would test whatever vocal strength the audience has left. Chris Sebastian returned for another of their Safia collaboration, this time the always favourite Take Me Over that had the crowds jumping. This was followed by Stranger, encouraging attendees to seek out new love bringing those standing even closer together. The show was closed with their 2014 smash High. Production was “high” with a mixture of flames, CO2 cannons and confetti for the final hook. However, energy and emotion ran “high[er]” as there was a sense of elation and triumph as the show ended.
Peking Duk never fail to disappoint as they seem to only from strength to strength without a sign to be slowing down. Although you can be sure that they’ll be back, they are not to be missed as the mind can only imagine would they have next in store.
Live Review By Liam Kerr