Project Description

STORMZY + Manu Crook$ @ The Forum Theatre 27/07/17 (Live Review)

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Sormzy

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Run The Jewels’ discography playing as we were waiting, the crowd cheering his name before the support was even out, you could feel the eagerness in the room.

Coming off a very anticipated and loved debut album, London Grime and Hip-Hop artist, Big Mike aka Wicked Skengman aka Stormzy, graced Australian stages for his GSAP Down Under Tour, spanning across four capital cities, sighting Manu Crook$, from Sydney, as his support.

A set of decks was on the front half of the stage with Manu Crook$’ name on it. His DJ came out and got the crowd as amped on his own as much as your usual supporting act, playing popular trap and grime songs, the crowd being the loudest for tracks like Shut Down, HUMBLE. and No Problem. Then Crook$ came out, fog surrounding him, kicking things off with a track dedicated to those who had been with him since “Day 1”. The crowd engagement from the start was brilliant, Crook$ getting his audience to get their hands in the air without even asking them. He performed his latest single Ridin’, throwing in some nice dance moves on a beat drop. Though it was clear Crook$ definitely wasn’t leaving until he had the crowd as hyped up as he could, “We’ve gotta turn it up to eleven”, he said. On his final track, Blowin’ Up, Crook$ made his DJ wind the track back and told his crowd “when this beat drops I don’t wanna see a single one of you standing still”, and that’s exactly what happened. The crowd went off, hands in the air, jumping, the mosh pit already swaying around. Crook$ had done his job with excellence.

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Stormzy

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“Stormzy” the crowd chanted, one hand in the air, “yeah…” we heard as Big Mike walked out on to the stage, the audience wild. In the conversation of how to start a show off with a bang, Stormzy would be the man to talk to, starting with First Things First, his energy like a punch in the face. After winding down the first track, Young Stormz, said a big hello to his crowd now dubbed “energy crew” and gave us a run down of the night, once he said all he needed to, he went straight into Cold. Stormzy was bringing the hard Grime tracks throughout the night, ones off his new record, tracks such as Return of the Rucksack and Mr Skeng. Bad Boys also came up in the set list, Stormz smashing his long verse on the track and finishing it off by getting help from the audience to rap an acapella version of the chorus, he was like a composer up on stage. Not only did he do his Grime tracks from Gang Signs & Prayer but he made it clear from the start that there was going to be some sing alongs at this shows as well, some great moments connecting with the audience, singing together on things like outro of Velvet and the hook on Cigarettes & Cush. Though the Wicked Skengman stopped for a moment, simmered the energy and spoke to us about the people he’s thankful for in his life, his friends, his family, his fans, but most importantly, his Mum, singing to her, in thanks, on the other side world with 100 Bags. A beautiful performance from the Londoner.

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Stormzy

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Stormzy told us how he wanted this to be a “legendary show” and “to make history”, being the final stop on his tour down under he wanted to make it a night to remember. When he asked for the Energy Crew back, he decided to delve into some remixes he’s worked on, asking for “the biggest mosh pit this venue has ever seen” wanting to see “carnage…chaos…ignorance.” For three tracks the crowd was going off like an over crowded night club doing exactly what the Brit Rapper asked for. Once it had died Stormz made sure there were no casualties and that everyone was unharmed. He then went into he archives and threw out some big tracks he’s released throughout the years like WICKEDSKENGMAN Part 4 and One Take Freestyle but the biggest track out of the older ones was Know Me From, especially on the hook, the crowd cutting loose, with shoulder rides and crowd surfing, Stormzy had them loosing all sense of care. But Mr Problem had a bigger treat, saying “Whether you like this banger or not, I want everyone dancing to this fuckin’ song” as Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You started playing and Stormz did his verse from the remix of the track, dancing all over the stage. A great, unexpected addition.

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Stormzy

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“Hold up, I just want to say some serious stuff for a second”, Stormzy gave his audience one of the the most heartfelt thank you’s I’ve ever heard from an artist on stage, followed by him asking for us to use the rest of our energy reserves for the finale. Big For You Boots came on, it was clear Stormzy knew what was coming, letting the audience belt out the first chorus for him before killing it on the mic himself. “I wanna do one more track for you Melbourne, but only if you respond correctly to what I’m a bout to say next… Oi rudeboy!”, “Shut Up!” the crowd shouted back, and using his last bit of energy, his shirt soaked with sweat, holding back nothing, Stormzy finished an epic show off with Shut Up.

Big Mikey thanked the crowd again, jumped off the stage and thanked as many people as he could personally. Stormzy delivered an energy filled, meaningful, sincere show, and possibly the best I’ve seen this year.

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AMNPLIFY – DB

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Reviewer Details

  • Blake Luxford