Review: Hot Dub Time Machine live in Sydney

Hot Dub Time Machine by Phil Erbacher

Annastasia Robertson got her groove well-and-truly on at The Metro Theatre last Saturday:

The venue was packed to the rafters for the final Sydney leg of the Hot Dub Time Machine tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this gig, and originally had thought it was going to be just your run-of-the-mill house/dance DJ set.

There was a bunch of red balloons suspended in a net on the ceiling, a canon to the side of the stage, and a huge projector screen, so I was anticipating a real spectacle of a show. Particularly from someone who’s performance name is a play-on-words.

For those who haven’t been to a HDTM show, it’s more like an experience. Beginning in 1954, DJ Tom Loud takes us forward in time to the current year, playing the hits of each decade.

Loud took the stage around 10:30pm, and for the next two-and-a-half hours did not stop moving, grooving and smiling… and nor did anyone else in the theatre.

Hot Dub Time Machine by Phil ErbacherStarting with ‘Rock Around The Clock’, each decade was a showcase of its most popular and memorable songs, which went down surprising well considering the majority of the crowd were under 30 years old. Though I guess that’s the nature of a classic, hit song; it can speak to every generation.

Teamed with the songs were a comprehensive video montage, including some of the video clips from the songs, and introduction pieces from films, etc, to others. It worked incredibly to create an all-round sense of being in the moment with each song on its own, as well as creating a flow between the entire feel of the decade.

As we moved through the generations, I found myself in a musical euphoria; absolutely losing my mind when a song I had completely forgotten existed would come on. I think that’s the beauty of the Hot Dub Time Machine show, it makes you want to dance and jump until you collapse, but also provide you with that sense of nostalgia. It’s almost impossible for me to extract just one song that hit the mark and made the crowd go nuts. And just in case you’re wondering, there were over 110 songs. I should know, I wrote them all down.

There was no best decade, no best song, no best experience. It was the most completely well-rounded gig I’ve ever been to. This kind of show has really hit the nail on the head in terms of crowd pleasing and crowd engagement.

10/10 would go again.

Highlights: 99 red balloons dropping from the ceiling during ’99 Luftballoons’ and the Michael Jackson Megamix. I repeat, Michael Jackson megamix.

No, we didn’t stop til we got enough.

Lowlights: A bunch of inebriated personal space invaders.

Hot Dub Time Machine comes to the following venues over the next few weeks

BRISBANE | Sat 23 May | The Hi Fi
PERTH | Fri 29 May | Villa – SOLD OUT*
PERTH | Sat 30 May | Villa
MELBOURNE | Fri 5 June | The Hi Fi
ADELAIDE | Fri 12 June | The Thebarton Theatre – Hot Dub Classic
ADELAIDE | Fri 13 June | The Thebarton Theatre – Hot Dub Rave
DARWIN | Fri 19 June | Discovery
HOBART | Friday 26 June | Republic Bar

Tickets from



 Review by Annastasia Robertson. Photos of Hot Dub Time Machine (taken at Maitland Groovin the Moo) by Philip Erbacher.