Gig Review: Hoodie Allen @ The O2 Academy, Birmingham

Ever the showman, Hoodie Allen produced a memorable night from beginning to end with a vibrant, excitable performance. The small venue (an smaller offset room from the main stage) only enhanced the booming atmosphere that the presence of the All-American rapper created. His second visit to the UK has built upon his success and just shows the likeable appeal of both his personality and his music.

Support began in the form of New York based band AJR, a trio of brothers who performed a form of pop-based rock which to be totally honest, I didn’t really dig. It was all a little cheesy and Jonas Brothers-esque, but props to the brothers for coming all the way out from NY, putting on a show and making girls swoon. Check ’em out here:

The second support act was a seriously cool drum and bass act named MckNasty, somewhat known for his successful audition on Britain’s Got Talent, and the fact that he is the older brother of insanely popular music star Labrinth. Despite those ties, after the performance MckNasty showed he can pull of that night, he deserves to be known in his own right. He got the crowd pumped with his high-tempo style and constant crowd involvement; his mix including Foo Fighter’s ‘The Pretender’ and Drake’s ‘Started From The Bottom’. It culminated in his own infectiously great single with his colleague Ben (I forget the surname and can’t find it online), ‘Let It Drop’. Check out his site and download his mixtape:

Finally, Hoodie entered the stage to a rapturous applause alongside his DJ and his guitarist, Kyle (affectionately known as Paedo for reasons unknown). After his performance he showed he’s just as good, if not better live. He performed several of his songs with great crowd interaction, highlights being the orchestrated waving in ‘James Franco’, and my personal favourite when he threw a damn cake into the crowd which was subsequently caught, eaten slightly and shared around in ‘Cake Boy’! There was a great exclusive for the Birmingham crowd as Hoodie performed an acoustic version of crowd favourite ‘The Chase Is On’. Undoubtedly a great gig enjoyed by everyone in attendance and I hope that Hoodie is tempted back to the UK once again in the near future!


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