On the brink of something truly astonishing, we edged into what’s likely to be remembered as one of the most significant weekends in the history of UK urban music. The spotlight is on D-Block Europe, as they arrive in London to headline the first of their two shows at Alexandra Palace – that may I add, sold out in minutes. Not bad for a pair with no label backing, eh?
On a damp night in Tottenham, jubilant fans from far and wide poured into the historic venue expecting a show of utterly epic proportions. An eager anticipation permeated the room as Tim Westwood’s set on the decks came to an abrupt finish.
The spotlights harshened as the back of the hall faded into the darkness. A moment of deafening silence ensued before we were teased by the hi-hats at the start of “Intro”. The shuddering bass shook the floor as the crowd erupted into flames at their first glimpse of Young Adz and Dirtbike LB, marching around on stage bellowing the words to the chorus.
Shortly after, we were introduced to our first guest performer of the evening. Step Forward, GeeYou – bursting onto the stage with a hyper-active, child-like energy flinging himself across the stage to the sounds of “AMG” and “Slide Thru”. A moment the teenager will surely savour forever and an indication that perhaps, he has something in the works with the pair. The fans also enjoyed cameo appearances from Nafe Smallz, K-trap, Chip and M Huncho on the evening.
The show was paused briefly while Young Adz declared his gratitude and appreciation for the fans who were out in high spirits on the evening. He proclaimed that they belonged to London and are “owned by the fans”, a touching sentiment, mirrored by an overwhelmingly proud London crowd.
And as if they hadn’t treated us enough already, they were later joined on stage by close accomplice, Yxng Bane. A connection “deeper than rap” they tell us, it was clear to see with a camaraderie and chemistry on stage that made for great viewing. “808” and “ILY” provided a little bit of clarity while “Gucci Mane” and “Better Than Yours” carried an infectious energy that gave the audience a fresh impetus, heading into the last segment of the show.
After M Huncho and D-Blocks’ live rendition of “Back to Back”, two idle stools were positioned centre stage as the boys geared up to perform “Outside”. The lights fell completely once again as the crowd was prompted to illuminate the arena with just their phone torches. In the pursuit of intimacy, they had also requested for there to be no mosh-pitting this time round and pleaded for the fans to belt the words along with them.
Incredible shots surfaced afterwards of Adz and Lb sat on stage, in complete awe of their legion of fans hoisting their flashlights in the air. The sucker punches of “Kitchen Kings” and “Home Pussy” that followed made for an emphatic finish, as arguably two of their most popular songs.
An evening for the history books all be it, this not where their efforts conclude. They’ve given us another project to look forward to before the year’s end. A truly unforgettable night, that will live long in the minds and hearts of the artists and the fans.