An Intimate Afternoon with Anthony Fantano

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Scenes from An Intimate Afternoon with Anthony FantanoSunday 14 September
@ Northcote Town Hall
Review by Hannah Bolton, Darebin FReeZA

On September 14th, 2014, Darebin FReeZA hosted "An Intimate Afternoon with Anthony Fantano" at the Northcote Town Hall West Wing Studio. For those that may be unfamiliar with Anthony Fantano's work, the US-based reviewer runs a website and YouTube channel called "The Needle Drop", dedicated to reviewing the latest music from a wide range of genres, as well as some 'classic' albums. His reviews, which now total to over 1,400 videos on his YouTube channel alone, with a few new reviews being uploaded every week, have earned him over 300,000 subscribers to his channel, and the rightful self-proclamation as 'the internet's busiest music nerd'. His reviews have allowed viewers to expand their taste in music and think of music more critically

Fantano's first event after BIGSOUND in Brisbane, the event was a thorough and insightful presentation about various aspects of the music industry, such as U2's recent release 'Songs of Innocence' which was released free to iTunes users, how falling music sales in recent years have caused musicians to 'sell out' by allowing their songs and images to be used in advertisements (to sometimes absurd results), musician Matt Farley's (creator of Motern Media) expansive discography of songs on nearly any topic imaginable (which is available in its entirety for free online), the use of a God-like/Superhero-like/anonymous identity by various musicians such as Daft Punk and MF DOOM, and advice to up-and-coming musicians on how to get their music noticed in an age where there is an oversaturation of talented artists and comparatively less money to be made from music. Fantano also highlighted the importance of all-ages music events (with this event being one of his few all-ages events while he was in Australia), understanding that many people who enjoy his reviews that are also underage, and commenting on how underage audiences are often neglected by musicians and their tour organisers.

The presentation was engaging in the manner it was presented, with many jokes alongside the well-researched and thought-provoking content of the show. Anthony Fantano connected with the audience from the start, by giving many crowd members high-fives before beginning the show, and a Q&A session before the end of the show. He also signed merchandise and took photos for many fans excited to see him.

Darebin FReeZA was involved in all aspects of the event in collaboration with STEP, from assisting backstage, to selling merchandise, to preparing a vegan feast for Fantano. The event was quite different to the music performances that Darebin FReeZA usually organises, but the event ran smoothly and was enjoyable for all involved in the organisation.

Photography by Aleksandar Jason Photography and Hannah Bolton.