The announcement of the Omar S Australian tour came at the perfect time. Having given his album Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself a thorough spin I was devoutly Omar and I made sure I secured tickets straight away - I made sure my friends did too.
Novel has been cursed with awful weather of late, first with the rain on the night of Nina Kraviz and ramping things up with a fully fledged storm on the night of Omar S. Despite being as nervous as most dogs at the thunder and risking my entire look being compromised by the rain, I powered through, bought an overpriced umbrella from 7-11 and headed to Liberty Social.
I guess the first thing I noticed was the difference in the crowd. Everyone was well dressed, chilled out and for lack of a better word - cool. I guess the problems I usually have with the vibe and crowd at Novel events is mostly prevalent at Brown Alley, which is a bummer because I really do want to like it there. The vibe instantly, like a blowdryer to my damp mood, lifted my spirits and I forgot about my soggy hair and threads and headed to the bar. From all the familiar faces, I could see my incessant tweeting about the night had seeped into my friends' timelines.
Instagram crushes, friend crushes, girl crushes and regular crushes were all there. I got really drunk and managed to sober up after a few hundred cigarettes and more rain all in time for Omar S.
Omar's set was a mixture of deep house, techno, disco and surprisingly and most welcomingly a large portion of it being his own production. Toting his signature bucket hat, his aura filled any empty room in the venue with overwhelming warmth and happiness. At one point my friends pushed my to the front of the stage (thanks) where I was met with more sweaty and familiar faces.
With a front row seat at what I was beginning to realise was shaping up to be the gig of the year, I saw Omar quickly scan the room in a rare moment, smiling to himself and putting his head back down continuing to do what he was doing best. When the moment arrived where the deeply beautiful Thank U 4 Letting Me Be Myself filled the room. There was a very noticeable shift in the crowd at this point as everyone grew to understand that the set was coming to an end.
Omar S wasn't about ecstacy, ketamine or looking cool, at that moment everyone's egos melted away with the beautiful moment they were all sharing, as did mine. Tornado Wallace took to the decks once Omar was done and on any other day I would have stayed and continued to enjoy what I imagine was another great set - but I had well and truly had my cake and eaten it and shared it with all my friends, it was time to go home.
All of Novel's usual short comings seemed to have been remedied by a simple venue change. Unfortunately it's hard to find a good, decently sized venue in Melbourne that doesn't lure in an awful crowd but it was a nice change.
Thank you Omar S for letting me be myself.