28 November 2018 (gig)
02 December 2018
Spotify’s annual concert at Alexandra Palace involved a substantial mix of established names and up-and-comers across differing genres. Acts performed from 7pm through to 11pm on November 28th, as energetic Grime stars shared the stage with pop-centric singers, American rappers and house inspired DJs, making for a compelling night of music.
It was always going to be the case that, on a night like this, certain artists would steal the limelight from others. This was certainly the case when UK rapper AJ Tracey followed a flurry of smaller artists to perform acclaimed hit songs, with the crowd feeding off his enthusiasm and charisma. He called on fellow UK rapper Not3s to perform ‘Butterflies’, while Not3s himself also had time on the stage to perform his own selection of songs, which went down a treat amongst the Ally Pally festival contingent.
Another noticeable feature of the concert was the amount of guest performers. Chip, a prominent Grime artist, was listed as a performer unofficially, but didn’t have his own set: he came out during three performances from different artists, although he failed to garner much hype. JME, the brother of internationally acclaimed artist Skepta, also made an appearance, complete with his trademark durag. With guests like these added to official performers such as Ghetts, Lethal Bizzle and AJ Tracey, it certainly felt at times like a complete celebration of Grime as a genre.
House music was also well represented, with DJ/singer Craig David giving the crowd a necessary dose of club bangers and party anthems to help them on their way. The set didn’t go off as previous acts had done, but it is difficult to be critical - the average Whowebe goer most probably came for the Grime acts rather than the House vibes.
There was more to come, however - American musicians also had a part to play. Fresh off the back of a recent rap feud with rapper Joyner Lucas, Hip Hop and R&B singer Tory Lanez took to the stage to perform hit single ‘LUV’, and a track from his new album ‘Love Me Now?’: ‘Ferris Wheel’, amongst others. Perhaps a highlight of the night was his attempts to crowd surf as far as possible, and to be fair to him, he did pretty well. Fellow compatriot French Montana closed out the night with a collection of well-known tunes, including Chris Brown’s ‘Loyal’, and Montana’s own hit ‘Unforgettable’, a fitting finale to an altogether enjoyable spectacle.