EMAS Weekender: RL Grime + Stormzy

📷: Eskape Moments

Stormzy | Gang Signs and Prayers Tour

The past couple of years has seen a surge in the popularity of Grime, with one of the biggest artists in the game being Stormzy who has performed at huge events such as Glastonbury to Splendour In The Grass. His newly released album Gang Signs and Prayer has been a worldwide hit with huge songs such as Big for your boots being included on the album. His Australian Tour is loosely based on the new album. The Perth show featured many of the hits off the new album but also a few old favourites which were received really well. I know, I know, grime isn’t for everyone but Stormzy himself just has an appeal which reaches much further than his London neighbourhood.

s2📷: Anthony Tran Photography

The sold out event was held at Metro city in Northbridge which brought quite an inclusive vibe to the event which a stadium or larger venue couldn’t bring in my opinion. Although having this smaller venue did mean the queues and wait times to enter the venue did suffer. Once in the venue at around ten past nine it was already packed out for a ten o’clock performance, Australian Rapper Manu Crook$ was setting the mood perfectly for the main act to appear on the stage. Armed with just a stage, decks and a few lights the mood for the event had been set. Stormzy had come out with so much energy which straight away reflected itself on the crowd with everyone vibing the energy. The connection with the crowd was really pleasing to watch, he would come down off the stage onto a little platform and reach out to the audience to really show his support to his fans. It really left as if he was just a friend or that we somehow knew him rather than him being a celebrity.

📷: Anthony Tran Photography

Overall the event really stood out to me as the highlight of my year, the inclusiveness and brotherly love Stormzy gave off in his performance was really beautiful. Behind the harsh raps he really connects with the crowd and creates the perfect performance environment.
Aishah Al-Shabib | EMAS UWA Fresher | Grime and food enthusiast

RL Grime

Henry Steinway also known as RL Grime hasn’t headlined Australia since April 2015 after the release of his debut LP titled Void which has paved the way for his unique sound and style of electronic music. RL has been quiet for the majority of 2016 with only two releases but 2017 is looking up with RL already having released two new tracks Stay for it featuring Miguel and Reims. The making of his new LP has also birthed a new live show with all new lighting and production. This new live show is what I witnessed at HBF Arena with support from Tkay Maidza, Enschway and Twerl.

📷: Eskape Moments

After the Twerl boys released a heavy remix of Stay for it with Oriental Cravings it didn’t take long to be noticed by much larger acts one of which was Alison Wonderland. Alison dropped the bass heavy remix in her EDC Las Vegas set and it also got a little attention from the big man himself. It only made sense to put these locals on support for this show. They did a good job opening for the night playing some bass music that was carefully selected to not clash with RL’s set. Enschway also performed a similar set to Twerl. They didn’t really feel like opening sets but the main style of music was consistent throughout both. Enschway dropped some mad mashups and some of his originals and kept the crowd warmed up for Tkay. We were also graced by the presence of a wild Luude during Enscways set. Although both Enschway and Twerl played bass sets I think the crowd still loved it and it definitely got people in the mood to listen to RL.
📷: Eskape Moments

Tkay Maidza, an Australian singer/songwriter/rapper took to the stage next with her band. This was the first time I have seen Tkay live and I was blown away. I didn’t know much about her live show or her music but I was absolutely stunned by her voice and her live drummer. Tkays drummer Tim Commandeur (also apart of Operator Please) added such an interesting aspect to the show. The live drums just hit so much harder and in combination with Tkays voice things got heated real quick. I think Tkay was a perfect fit for supporting RL because she brought a hip hop vibe to the show. RL’s music is in essence influenced by hip hop and it was definitely refreshing to listen to some live elements. Tkay was more than a DJ standing behind some decks; her performance definitely had so much more stage presence and it got me really hyped for RL. This was all happening at the front of the stage with minimal lightning and no use of the four LED walls that stood behind.

📷: Eskape Moments

As the clock hit 10:30, the crew quickly removed the drums and other gear used for Tkays set. Finally the barricade of LED walls lit up with the RL Grime logo and huge sirens filled the HBF arena. This all builds up and breaks down into RLs first release of this year and possibly the first track on his new LP, Reims. This was the first time I had ever seen RL live and the 808’s absolutely shook me. The new show consisted of stunning visuals and lighting which all matched up to his hard hitting music. Although RL said this was a brand new show, he did played his originals in a very similar way to his other shows such as his Coachella 2016 show (I watched the livestream), with the addition of his new originals from 2017. The majority of his set was his own remixes and originals which made it a set that only he could deliver. I was so happy to hear older tracks like Because of U which was released 3 years ago. It was also nice to experience his most popular tracks from Void such as Core, Valhall and Scylla which absolutely tore up the sound system. I loved how he used mashups and edits of his originals and remixes, they added so much depth and personality to his set.

rl-grime-7📷: Eskape Moments

The production and music were absolutely perfect and it was everything I expected an RL Grime show to be. However every show does have its downsides and I think the one downside of this show was the venue. The stage and sound was great but HBF arena just didn’t seem like the right place. I mean who would actually get a seated ticket for this show? I’m a big RL fan and didn’t mind emptying the bank account for this show but I know other people who definitely did mind and were not keen to cop the $100 ticket. Apart from the ticket price and venue I think the show was absolutely insane and I would 100% see RL Grime live again.
Nick Cannon | EMAS UWA Fresher | Bass lover 

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