Apple Music Festival 2015: Pharrell Williams at the Roundhouse
Despite only having two studio albums under his own name, Pharrell sure does have a lot of big numbers to play live. Being a long-time producer, he constantly kept the energy at the Roundhouse funky, going through twenty years of RnB, soul and rap that he’s produced for the likes of Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, NORE, Gwen Stefani – the list is endless really. Though that could have easily made the gig disjointed, Pharrell’s infectious good-nature and relationship with the crowd made for a dazzling display of modern pop music at its best.
From what could be made out through the cesspool of iPhones being held rigidly in the air, Pharrell sported a simple jeans, black t-shirt and flat cap look, definitely appearing less garish than usual (just look up the abomination on his head in the Happy video). The artist had help with his multi-coloured dancers and four-piece band, which somehow managed to perfectly suit each genre run through. He opened with his latest hit Freedom, a sort of ode to Apple Music which he did not forget to give a shout-out to on multiple occasions.
The transition from his newer songs to his older songs worked well with the crowd, especially when N*E*R*D member Chad Hugo came to join Pharrell for hits like Spaz with a whole group of teenagers from the crowd. This event enhanced the connection between the singer and the audience; he seemed to love playing and listening to the music as much as they did. His latest work on the album Girl failed to impress, with songs like Hunter and Come and Get It Bae sounding more like lift music than actual crowd-pleasers. Not to say that his recent efforts were entirely uninteresting, Blurred Lines and Happy were part of the closing tracks and certainly moved the crowd. But it was the songs he co-wrote with Daft Punk, Get Lucky, Lose Yourself to Dance and Gust of Wind that really got the audience moving – both upstairs and downstairs – singing and straining to match Pharrell’s soaring falsetto on the tracks.
With minimal staging and striking visuals on the big screen behind, Pharrell, a born entertainer, managed to bring the Roundhouse to life and by effortlessly making his way through his vast discography, made sure that there was a piece of music for everyone there to enjoy showing pop music is still alive and well.
For further information about Pharrell Williams and future events visit here.
Apple Music Festival 2015 is on at the Roundhouse until 28th September 2015, for further information visit here.
Watch the video for Happy here: