Loud. Booming. Bloody Epic. These were some of the descriptions given by DJ Fresh’s fans following his 02 Academy show on the 22nd November, and it’s easy to see why.
Kicking off the gig was Maxsta, straight from East London, launching forward slick tracks like “I Wanna Rock”, released earlier this year. Bringing with him his signature grime/party vibe, he succeeded in getting the crowd screaming from start to finish, whilst constantly jumping up and down piled up against the front bars on Maxsta’s insistence to “jump for me”.
Following on the heat of Maxsta, were Drumsound & Bassline Smith, welcomed out on to stage by a crowd roaring for the chance to bounce to even more dirty bass. Announcing straight away that Fresh himself had asked them to properly warm up the crowd, they tackle the challenge more than enthusiastically, smashing out track after track, ranging the from Drum and Bass to Dubstep, which instantly got the crowd going.
Considering the build up of the night, DJ Fresh certainly had a lot to live up to, but as can be expected, he performed above the bar set by the two Supports. Bass was pumping, people were jumping and hands were flailing about like there was no tomorrow. Fresh may have come into criticism as of late for aligning with the more mainstream torrent of Dubstep songs coming out, but try telling that to the packed out 02 Academy full of fans screaming and cheering as he walked out on stage. At every moment there were triangles held high by the hands of the bouncing audience, Fresh’s trademark symbol in recent times. Pounding older hits like “Louder” received a massive response, whilst the bass really dropped when launching into a dub-version of “Hip Hop”, originally by Dead Prez; the floor was shaking and hands were rising up and down as the crowd went crazy. Joined on stage by his live band, singer Fleur and MC Messy, the full effect was a full set of anthems which the crowd responded to with incredible levels of enthusiasm. Hits from his latest album “Nextlevelism” like “The Power” and “The Edge” were received rapturously, the latter resulting in screams of jubilation from the fans as the drum and bass rocked the floor. Quite possibly Fresh has never seemed so lively on stage to those in the crowd, and it was obvious that the crowd reciprocated with equal energy.