Stormzy, UEA LCR, Norwich, music review: The energy and atmosphere at Stormzy’s gigs stands the Big For Your Boots rapper above the rest
- Credit: PA
His performance at Open, Norwich, in October 2015 was plagued with technical errors but Stormzy returned to the city and a sold out UEA on the back of his newly released Gang Signs and Prayer album last night.
Since his last show in Norfolk the 23-year-old South Londoner has become one of the UK's biggest music names and has very much led the rise of grime alongside fellow MCs such as Skepta and Wiley.
The size of Stormzy as a star was felt throughout the show. From the moment the doors opened the venue was packed and all the support acts demanded – and got - energy from the crowd, only increasing the expectation for one of 2017's most anticipated and energetic acts to grace Norwich.
When Stormzy's towering 6ft 5 figure came on the stage just after 9pm the energy and atmosphere was unlike anything I've seen at the UEA before. He opened with the first track of the new album, First Things First, and from then on there was no let up.
Throughout the show Stormzy spoke to the crowd demanding more energy, bigger mosh pits and referring to the technical difficulties at his last city show, claiming this was now his first proper visit to Norwich.
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What really stood him apart from his previous visit, however, was not the lack of technical issues, but the variety of his performance. Stormzy changed the tempo with hard-hitting songs such as Bad Boys, slower songs such as Blinded By Your Grace, which was accompanied by Stormzy shouting at the crowd, 'No one is too gangster to sing', and full-energy mosh pit songs such as Know Me From. There was even a version of his remix of Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You.
All the songs demanded different vibes from the crowd but all were given upmost energy, whether it was turning the LCR into one huge mosh pit or the whole crowd singing along with Stormzy while he sat on a chair and sang.
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This variety is what stands Stormzy above the rest in his field, that and his ability to maintain and create an atmosphere that you'd need to go a long, long way to beat.