Monday evening saw BBC Radio 1Xtra launch its fifth annual 1Xtra live event at London’s Brixton Academy.
Presenting the show were 1Xtra DJs Trevor Nelson and Mistajam. When they asked the crowd to scream in support of all five of the show’s acts, Kendrick Lamar received the biggest cheer, beating the headline act Trey Songz.
Opening the show was X Factor judge/fashion designer/singer (delete as appropriate), Tulisa. Looking considerably less glam than when she graces our TV’s over the weekend, Tulisa still looked hot in black jeans, a scoop-backed black t-shirt and hot pink lipstick.
The crowd particularly enjoyed her song Live It Up and could be easily heard bellowing the lyrics back at Tulisa.
1Xtra DJs CJ Beatz and Semtex took to the stage between acts to keep the audience entertained. Dancing was actively encouraged as Gangnam Style, Soulja Boy’s Crank That and Cali Swag District’s Teach Me How To Dougie were blared out in the Academy.
Angel was up next and looked at home on the stage performing Go In, Go Hard, Ride Out and Time After Time. The West London singer-songwriter sounded as good live as he does on the radio and thanked his fans – the Angelites – for all their support.
However, before the crowd got to nod their heads hip hop style to Kendrick Lamar, WizKid exploded onto the stage for his energy-fuelled set.
Determined to get up-close and personal with the crowd, the Nigerian Afrobeats superstar spent most of his set right on the edge of the stage and even jumped down in front of the barrier and ran the length of the stage to be touched and groped by his fans. He nearly took out a photographer as he went.
Don’t Dull proved to be his most popular track. The girls in the crowd were all standing and doing their part of the call and response with an energy equal to WizKid himself.
Then man-of-the-moment Kendrick Lamar came to the stage. Keeping it simple, Lamar wore all black and was hooded up as he dropped tracks that included Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe and Swimming Pools. However, M.A.A.D City was the track that made the crowd erupt.
Before leaving, Lamar reminded the crowd he’s due back in the UK for his tour in January and judging by the reaction, it’s set to be a sell out.
At this stage in the evening, some of the men headed to the bar, others returned to their seats and the girls got ready to strain their vocal chords to the max. Trey Songz was in the building.
The headline act took to the stage and charmed the crowd with his track Simply Amazing. His abs also made an appearance as he ripped his white vest off and thrust it into the willing hands of a screaming fan.
Performing Bottoms Up without Nicki Minaj to do her rap clearly didn’t faze Songz as the crowd stepped in and recited every word. He finished the night by getting as close to the crowd as his bouncers would allow, and basking in the rapturous applause.
The 1Xtra live tour continues in three other cities over the next three days; Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.