By Ronny Lerner
Prior to Friday night’s concert at Margaret Court Arena, it had been 22 long years since the legendary Ice-T brought his metal band Body Count to Melbourne.
“I’ve been busy,” Ice-T cheekily explained to his adoring fans from a stage that looked like a crime scene.
Well, the wait was certainly worth it.
For 90 high-octane minutes, Body Count treated the crowd to the smorgasboard of thrash, hardcore and rap metal that shot them to international fame 25 years ago.
Ice-T told the crowd that he judges how good Body Count concerts are by how brutal the mosh pits are. Based on that criteria, the Melbourne gig would have scored a 10 out of 10.
The band’s adrenalin-pumping tunes transported the crowd to the early 1990s and sent the pit into a frenzy.
There was no room for the faint-hearted in the pit with high-energy moshing, circle pits and a steady stream of crowd surfers reaching the front of the stage before being escorted to the side by security.
It was insane!
The show started roughly 20 minutes early, catching stragglers off guard. Ice-T let them know exactly how displeased he was by their tardiness as they streamed in.
The tone for the night was set with the first track as they launched into a rendition of the Slayer classic ‘Raining Blood/Postmortem’.
They then ripped into ‘Bowels of the Devil’, ‘Necessary Evil’ and ‘Manslaughter’ before taking their first breather. And it was much-needed, especially for the fans!
Seven of the 18 tracks were off the band’s iconic self-titled album and the crowd seemed to respond the most to those – especially ‘There Goes the Neighborhood’ and the controversial but equally legendary ‘Cop Killer’ which Ice-T introduced as Australia’s national anthem.
During ‘Cop Killer’ he told the crowd not to be afraid to yell out, ‘F**k the police’, because he had been playing a cop on TV for more than a decade on Law & Order: SVU.
Songs off the new album ‘No Lives Matter’, ‘Black Hoodie’ and ‘The Ski Mask Way’ went down a treat as well while the finale ‘This Is Why We Ride’ served as a fitting ending.
One of the highlights of the gig was the ‘virtual encore’ after the main set ended. Basically, at 59 years of age, Ice-T explained he couldn’t be bothered leaving the stage and coming back on again to play the encore. So he had the lights dimmed, turned his back to the crowd, along with the rest of the band, and pretended to leave the stage before turning back around and playing The Exploited cover 'Disorder..
Beneath all the awesome riffs and solos delivered by Ernie C and Juan Of The Dead, bass lines from Vincent Price, lightning-quick drumming from Ill Will and vocals from Ice-T, there was a really great message of equality and anti-racism being delivered.
Body Count delivered that message in such a cool way, political activists might want to attend one of their gigs and take notes on how to get some cut-through!
Raining Blood / Postmortem (Slayer cover)
Bowels of the Devil
There Goes the Neighborhood
No Lives Matter
The Ski Mask Way
Talk Shit, Get Shot
Disorder (The Exploited cover)
This Is Why We Ride