BBC 1Xtra Live 2012 at O2 Academy Brixton
1Xtra Live 2012 is a nationwide tour boasting world famous international acts, such as Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar, whilst granting exposure to lesser known UK acts like Angel and Devlin.
1Xtra Live was born in 2008, and took place in Coventry. It has since grown considerably, with 2012 hosting some of the most acclaimed and successful acts yet.
Tulisa introduced this year’s tour and was warmly welcomed. With the assistance of an excellent band, she performed singles from her upcoming debut album The Female Boss. Since the album has yet to be released, the audience hadn’t memorised her lyrics as much as she seemingly hoped for, constantly requesting the audience to sing along. Nevertheless, Brixton’s O2 Academy was ecstatic with first-act-fever.
Between the event’s main acts, the audience was entertained with a host of 1Xtra DJs. DJ Semtex notably moved the crowd with his choice of Hip Hop, employing Jay-Z, Kanye West and Drake who undoubtedly brought the crowd to their feet, ready for the next act.
As soon as he touched the stage, London native Angel caused the crowds to sing and rap along to his songs which combine a recently popularised hybrid form of rap and R&B, drawing comparisons to Drake’s more chart-friendly verses and the slightly auto-tuned choruses of Lil Wayne. The West London native received a warm London welcome.
But with the occasional audience member shouting for ‘Kendrick Lamar!’ to be brought on, it was clear who the crowd was mainly here for. Lamar was expected and admired, with 99% of the audience knowing 99% of his lyrics word for word. But during some of Lamar’s more vocally demanding verses, he seemed sluggish and lost for breath; uncharacteristic of the man who has the ability to give tremendous performances.
Despite this, Kendrick Lamar was very well received, with a large number of attendees leaving the venue shortly after Lamar had left the stage. Trey Songz had the difficult task of following Lamar’s act and didn’t have the appeal to keep the crowd, which mostly consisted of Trey’s younger female fans towards the end of the night.
As a free event offered by the BBC, 1Xtra Live succeeds in bringing major international acts together with some of London’s best talent and putting on a great, well rounded show.
1Xtra Live started in London on the 12th, and is continuing in Manchester on the 13th, Liverpool on the 14th and ends with Alicia Keys headlining their Birmingham show on the 15th.
For more information on BBC 1Xtra Live and videos of the live performances, click here.