THIS YEAR, without a doubt, has been the year of Skepta. From his Mercury Prize win, Konnichiwa going gold, to his co-sign from Beyoncé (she danced to ‘That’s Not Me’ at her Wembley show this year) he has solidified himself as the man of the moment.
All the pivotal moments in his career lead to this very important evening, culminating in the much anticipated show at Alexandra Palace – Skepta’s biggest solo headlining gig located in his hometown. While admitting that he’d been "training like a marathon for this show", I don’t think anyone could have predicted the amount of energy and charisma that Skepta and friends brought to Ally Pally on Saturday night.
The gig showed Skepta on top form, with his energy, hype and banter on another level. The 10,000 strong audience had an unruly yet joyful presence throughout the set, from frantically shouting out 'BBK!' to the multiple mosh pits that broke out – particularly when Skepta brought out all the ‘mandem’ to perform fan-favourite ‘Gang’.
While Skepta brought out his day ones, he also showed love to his peers. JME, Wretch 32, Section Boyz, Giggs, Kano and Lethal B all made an explosive appearance at the show, with each and every performer sending the crowd into a frenzy as they performed there hottest hits. From '3 Wheel Ups’ to ‘Whippin Excursion’, ‘That’s Not Me’ to ‘POW’ – both the performer and the audience couldn’t contain their excitement for this monumental moment in grime history.
Skepta performed a majority of tracks from his hit album Konnichiwa, with fans singing along enthusiastically to ‘It Ain’t Safe,’ ‘Shutdown’ and more. Throughout the gig, you couldn’t help but notice the amount of thought that went into everything – from the electrifying visuals to a well-chosen set list – Skepta was determined to let this be the night of all nights and he certainly did not disappoint.
Even though the night was about Skepta it was really for the whole scene. For a grime artist to stay true to himself and reach the heights that Skepta has is aspirational- and now - attainable. He truly did ‘Shutdown’ Alexandra Palace, giving us a show that ended an extremely successful year for grime artists and fans alike.