AJ Tracey at the LCR 26/03/2019 - Review
After the rambunctious affairs of Fredo's gig a couple weeks back as well as AJ's less-than-enthusiastic performance at Parklife 2018, I would be lying if I said that I was buzzing going into this gig.
Luckily the opener, Young Fume brought my energy right back as the Croydon rapper lit up the stage with the presence of seasoned veteran, bouncing around and riling up the crowd (not that they needed any encouragement). Even thought most of his set sounded pretty similar, the bassey beats carried him as he sounded exactly what an underground rapper in the new wave of UK Hip-Hop should sound like.
After the support it became very clear that the crowd were going to be just as entertaining as AJ himself as they desperately tried to create mosh pits for every single song, something that remained endlessly hilarious throughout the gig. Opening with the mellow 'Plan B', it was clear that this performance was going to be a lot more exciting than my previous experience as AJ was immediately more on-pitch and emotionally involved than before. This became even more obvious a few tracks in on the fantastic 'Country Star' a favourite of mine off of his latest project in which he brought out a stool and surprised the crowd by smashing the song's quick delivery, especially on the track's mad second verse.
The energy throughout his set stayed at a constant level as he went from his newer tracks to some absolute classics such as 'Packages' as well a three-track run from his stellar Secure The Bag EP, accompanied by some brilliant and vibrant lighting, especially during 'Blacked Out'. This energy was reciprocated by the crowd almost to a fault as they just would not quit. Even on his slower tracks like 'Butterflies' the majority of the crowd kept trying to force out mosh pits, which if anything was just ridiculously entertaining to watch from the outskirts.
Despite missing out on a few bangers like 'Thiago Silva' and 'Nothing But Net', AJ put on a great set and surpassed my fairly low expectations. No gimmicks and no frills, AJ Tracey just provided a great night of UK Hip-Hop, as his enthusiasm was a very clear step up from my previous experiences.