Anderson .Paak @ O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 22nd August 2019

Review and photography by Robert Barrett

Anderson .Paak has been on an unstoppable rise over the past two years. Every album, track or even feature released, just seems to get better and better. Ahead of his weekend slots at Reading and Leeds he announced an unmissable warmup at the O2 Academy. The sold out crowd were in for a special night.

Paak takes the old saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”, chews it up, and sets it on fire. Within the first three tracks he rapidly shows his versatility. Drumming on ‘Heart Don’t Stand a Chance’, spitting bars on ‘Saviours Road’, and becoming a funk tour de force on ‘Come Down’. His smile is infectious, and he seems to be genuinely enjoying himself the whole time.

He carries an energy with him that can light up any crowd. The straight up bangers of ‘Glowed Up’ and ‘Bubblin” cause mini mosh pits to form. Yet smoother tracks like ‘Tints’ have the room dancing and singing along.

The tracks range from all of his discography, even side project NxWorries gets an airing with the smooth ‘Suede’, making me yearn for a full tour of that album.

During Ventura highlight ‘Reachin’ 2 Much’ he boogied through the audience whilst the Free Nationals continued to back him up on stage. They got the spotlight to play their new single ‘Time’, which got a singalong all on its own.

After the electrifying first half the mood is chilled out a bit, with a focus on his more soul and R&B songs. “This ones for all the couples in the room” introduces the smooth single ‘Make it Better’, couples all around embrace and slow dance, although it’s not long before ‘Am I Wrong’ and ‘Lite Weight’ has them dancing again.

He closed the show with ‘Dang’, a tender tribute to his dearly missed friend Mac Miller. An emotional end to a fantastic show, although I doubt anyone left the venue without a beaming grin on their face.

The gig proved that he is easily one of the most exciting live acts currently on the circuit. Not many can perform such a range of songs so well, and with such genuine enthusiasm. Is he a legend in the making? To quote the man himself… “Yes Lawd”.


The Bird (Intro)
Heart Don’t Stand a Chance
Saviours Road
Come Down
King James
6 Summers
Glowed Up
Reachin’ 2 Much
Put Me Thru
Might Be
Make it Better
Am I Wrong
Lite Weight


Come Home

(The original version of this article was first published on Gigjunkies

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