‘I came in with no introduction or information, now everybody loves me like Raymond. Face in the paper, voice on every station, earthlings you’ve been invaded by an alien’,
While Tinie Tempah didn’t perform his remix of ‘As We Enter’ in his sellout gig, I think the lyrics perfectly sums up what the past year has been like for the 21-year-old Londoner. After his recent chart success, it makes sense that his first headline tour would be a celebration of his ‘Disc-overy’.
But before the main man came on stage, the eager crowd are treated to a performance by future star, Bluey Robinson. Another 21-year-old London boy who’s smooth, soulful vocals were perfect for warming up the crowd by performing covers of hits such as ‘Nothing on You’ and ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ mixed in with his own singles.
Next up was Chiddy Bang, a American hip hop duo made up of Chiddy on the mic and Xaphoon Jones on the drums. Also in their early twenties, they give an energetic show which included Chiddy showing off his freestyle skills by completing a challenge of performing a freestyle that included ramdom words chosen from the audience. As they end their set with, ‘Opposite of Adults’, the crowd is left in prime condition for the main star.
A stormy sea is projected through the darkness and the audience can only see Tinie’s profile as he performs his album’s intro. The fans are literally screaming every time the lightning flashes and reveals a small glimpse of the man they have been waiting for. The bass heavy song has everyone jumping and Tinie’s distinctive flow fills up the arena.
The whole set was a nice mix of performing his hit songs and promoting his album. ‘Simply Unstoppable’ leads perfectly into ‘Frisky’ and it is clear straight away that Tinie is a confident performer, working the stage and interacting with both his band and the crowd.
In his signature ray ban ‘sun protectors’, Tinie then performs a remix of Lady Gaga’s monster hit Bad Romance. Along with a karaoke moment in which the crowd is encouraged to sing along to Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’, it helped to stop the show from being all about him and convincing the crowd to buy his album.
As a treat to his oldest fans who have been following him since the days of Channel U, he performs one of his first ever tracks, ‘Tears’. He also performed the big album collaborations ‘Invisible’ and ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ which both included little video clips from Kelly Rowland and the Swedish House Mafia. Another reminder of how much his career has blown up.
Tinie chose to have a section of the show in which he performed the ‘darkest’ songs on his album. Deliberately slowing down the pace, he askes the audience to think of their biggest vice and let go of it while performing ‘Obsession’ and ‘Let go’.
‘Written in the stars’ and ‘Wonderman’ hypes the crowd back up again. He leaves the stage, prompting the eager crowd to chant his name and the one song we’ve all noticed he hasn’t yet performed.
Then a single lyric is repeated over and over again, ‘Where’s my f*cking clap, where’s my encore’. On bursts Tinie to perform the final song, ‘Pass Out’, sending the crowd into one final moment of madness.
As crowd leave the 02, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that they just saw a young man who is destined to become a superstar.
Review by Nola Ojomu
Published: Nerve Magazine – December 2010