The support slot is filled by Rob Luis who along with Paul Jonas runs eclectic Brighton record label Tru Thoughts. He plays a good mix of different musical styles and genres to get the sold out crowd warmed up for the main event.
I was a bit disappointed the last time I saw Yasiin Bey (or Mos Def as he was then) back in 2009 and judging by tonight’s performance he still just doesn’t cut it live for me. He’s charismatic on film but just doesn’t seem to have that spark when he plays live. He’s also much better live when he’s got someone to vibe with, which was why the gigs he used to do performing with Talib Kweli as Blackstar were livelier and more of a hip hop show.
His set tonight is ok but just nothing special. As a solo artist he’s introspective and laid back something that doesn’t make for a good live experience. He’s given a good reception when he first comes out, but you get the feeling the crowd want some Hip Hop bangers and not the singing that accompanies most of the newer songs he does tonight. While fine to listen and nod along to, his show never becomes the lively party you feel the audience is expecting. He does some new songs one of which he doesn’t have a name for yet, but nothing particularly jumps out or really holds my attention.
Me and the missus left before he finished as it just didn’t really get going. In a nutshell it was ok, just nothing special.