Hadouken: The Duchess, 29/10/12

It’s been a while since Hadouken enjoyed their brief stretch in the limelight. While not unfamiliar with playing arena shows, their current tour consists mostly of smaller venues and so tonight they visited the Duchess.

Skrillex’s protégé Monsta opens the night. The set starts with producer duo Rocky and Rufio taking the stage, who are so full of energy they easily get the crowd going. Halfway through the set they’re joined by third member and singer Skaar, definitely benefitting the overall performance and making the act at times even resemble an early Pendulum.

It was then time for main act Hadouken to take the stage. Considering their packed festival tents this summer, the Duchess looked remarkably empty. The venue wasn’t even half-full, but that didn’t seem to bother the band or the audience. The crowd, consisting mostly of 16-year old boys with enough energy to keep a considerable mosh pit going throughout the night, didn’t need much ramping up. The fact that singer James Smith was quite off key and that his mic made one too many cringe worthy beeps didn’t seem to affect the mood at all. Admittedly, the bass was turned up so loud it was hard not to go crazy.

Though their playing could do with a lot of improvement, Hadouken’s interaction with the crowd held strong. Whether they demanded the audience to sit down or made a passing reference to Gangnam Style – the crowd eats up everything that is given to them. This leads to some laziness on Smith’s part, who hardly moved and at times didn’t even face the audience. Whatever they do though, Hadouken’s performance is met by an outburst of energy from the audience that never seems to weaken.

Being the last date of their current tour, the band made it clear they wanted to go out with a bang. And judging by the crowd’s exhausted but satisfied faces as they left to go home, they certainly did just that.

Judith Borghouts