I’ve been asked before, ‘what’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?’. If I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t know. I’ve seen a LOT of artists, and choosing one over the others may seem unfair. I’m gonna do a run down of the 5 best concerts I’ve ever attended.
5. The Weeknd, O2 Arena, Nov 2013
I’ll never forget this concert for two reasons. One, it was the Weeknd’s first headline show in London, and at the time, I was a huge fan of his. He had just brought out Kiss Land a couple months before the show, and I couldn’t wait to hear it live. The second reason is because I passed out at the show. Yep. From overheating. I’m a big mess. The opening act for his show was a singer called Banks, who most people must be familiar with by now, because she is extremely talented. That was the first time I had ever heard of her, and I was blown away by her music, and her elegance on the stage. She performed for about 45 mins, and then there was an hour long intermission, in order to set up the stage for the Weeknd. I don’t know if was anxiety, excitement, discomfort or all of the three, but I just didn’t feel right during the whole intermission. Eventually, 10 minutes before he came on stage, the heat in the venue became too much, and I started feeling very light headed; 5 mins later, I’m being carried out the crowd by the security from my armpits, like a wasteman. Bear in mind I had waited in line for about 6 hours beforehand, so that I could be at the front. But all that went out the window, when I was taken out by the security, and forced to go to a toilet to ‘freshen up’. I stayed in there for 2 minutes, and then rushed back out. By the time I had come back out, the lights had gone black, and the crowd was screaming at a deafening tone; the Weeknd was about to come out. I tried to walk in front of the gates at front, and climb back into my seat, but the security were like ‘nah.’ I ended up getting taken to the side, away from my friends, and away from my beloved front place. I spent the whole of the Weeknd’s set, on the side of the crowd, by myself, furious. Whilst the Weeknd sang his various hits, I stood there, still as a statue, looking like:
But aside from the personal L I took, I did try allow to myself to enjoy the concert a bit. I was scared that the Weeknd wouldn’t sound the same live, but he did more or less. I feel like the novelty of the occasion made the concert better than the actual performance, but it was still enjoyable to an extent, besides all the BS that happened.
4. Young Thug, 02 Academy Islington, Aug 2015
Another debut headline show from one of my favourite artists. This concert came at the perfect time, because 2015 was the best year of Young Thug’s career so far. The music he released in that year alone is unmatched by most artists, and unmatched by any other year of his career. Unfortunately, Slime Season hadn’t dropped yet, but there was still Barter 6, Rich Gang: Tha Tour, and other tapes for him to perform songs from. He didn’t disappoint.
The show started with J Hus as the opening act. 2015 was the year where J Hus fully broke onto the scene, and around the time of the concert, Dem Boy Paigon was still going hard. I used to listen to J Hus quite a lot during this time and period, so that was an added bonus to the show. I also found it very impressive that he had been chosen for the pre-show, because at the time, he was still very much on the come up. In regards to Young Thug’s performance, he performed TOO many hits. August 2015 was when With That was taking over the world, and when he performed that, I honestly thought someone was going to die. Add to that songs such as Lifestyle and Danny Glover, and you can understand why this show was so nuts. My only wish was that it lasted longer.
3. 67, Birthdays, March 2016
This show was NUTS. It came around the time where 67’s reign at the top of the drill game was coming to an end, but that didn’t diminish how good the show was. Let’s Lurk had dropped less than 2 months before, so it was still very fresh in everyone’s minds. They also had the In Skengs we Trust tape, and the 6.7 tape under the belt at the time, so I anticipated a good show. What I got, was better than I would’ve imagined. Considering the show only cost a fiver, I definitely got my money’s worth.
Giggs coming out to perform his verse on Let’s Lurk added a different level of hype within the crowd, and it just summed up why Let’s Lurk was one of, if not the best, tune to come out of the UK in 2016. But I was surprised to see them have such a good stage presence; I was expecting a stiff performance, from guys who don’t want to show themselves to look any less bad or on job, but these lot were really doing a lot on that stage. A good show, and definitely worth the money.
2. Playboi Carti, Village Underground, Jul 2017
This concert was so different to everything else on this list, because it was the only one where I didn’t feel like, ‘he could’ve performed more songs’ afterwards. A trend with artists, especially American artists, that I hate, is that they perform like 5 of their songs, then walk off stage. No thank you to the crowd, just perform their 5 songs, and cut. Carti didn’t do that, which surprised me, because I reckoned he would be too much of a pretty boy to act up for the crowd. He showed so much energy here, and it really made the concert memorable.
The venue of the event really added to the performance. If you haven’t been to Village Underground in Shoreditch, I’d describe it as like an empty warehouse, with a lot of space. Because of the underground and grungy feel to the concert, it really helped you feel closer to the artist, and enjoy more. He performed every hit song of his that you can imagine; Fetti, Magnolia, Broke Boi, What etc etc. But he also performed his lesser known songs too, which was my favourite part, because I think I actually prefer his lesser known songs, to his big hit songs. He did another show in the same venue the night after, which I wanted to attend, but I wasn’t trying to get massacred in the crowd for the second night in a row.
1. Migos, KOKO, Apr 2015
Migos will never perform a show in London as crazy as this one was. Their show in Brixton last year was great, but this show was different, because it was their first headline show in London. They had Hannah Montana, Versace, Fight Night, One Time, Bando and so many of their earlier bangers under the belt at the time of this show, and considering how big of a fan of their music I was, and still am, I couldn’t wait.
The show was so great, for the short time that it lasted. Fekky opened up for them, which hyped up the crowd hugely before their set. When they came on, it was something else; I didn’t know so many people loved Migos like that, at that time. All I was hearing was, ‘QUAVO!!!’ behind me, which was annoying, if I’m being honest. But the songs they performed, mannnn. So many bangers. I think people underestimate and forget how many hit songs Migos have in their portfolio, partly because of their unmatched success in the past year. Songs like Fight Night and Hannah Montana really were crazy to hear live, and it was just a concert and a night I don’t think I’ll ever forget.