Alicia Keys announced a surprise gig in Shoreditch this week and when my friend texted me the details I knew we had to go. The last time we attempted to see her, we queued up at the iTunes festival and were turned away in the cold (No Girl on Fire here). This time round provided us with another challenge as the venue (Village Underground) only held around 700 and tickets were going sale on the day of the concert…
But somehow my friend managed to find a pre-sale link and £30 poorer later, we were going to see the legendary Alicia Keys. After my last two concerts being cancelled (I’m looking at you Janet Jackson and Tinashe), this was a nice surprise! Sometimes you wait so long for things to come around, you get excited and hype it up in your head – when it cancels it feels like a mini bitter break-up. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic but other than travelling, I LIVE for music. If Beyoncé cancels her London dates this summer, I will self-destruct into a bee.
I have been replaying Alicia Key’s new song In Common for the past week and the fact I was going to be seeing her perform it was so exciting. Artists generally release their album around 6 months to a year to when they actual tour you actually begin to rinse each and every song. So by the time you go to the tour date, you might have just had enough of it… This is why I’ve tried to listen to more old school stuff this year as I know the media has a tendency to overplay songs and thus it becomes over-saturated.
Village Underground is the perfect intimate venue and Alicia Keys filled it from wall to wall with her mesmerising voice. What I love about her is that she has no gimmicks (not saying this is a bad thing), when I think about her I just think voice and piano, so much talent in one body. It’s hard to believe she has been around 15 years (I FEEL SO OLD) and her music doesn’t only get better, she explores another side to herself. This is growth. 🌱🍃🌷
So rare do you get to hear music from a major artist before it is released. I completely get why the no phone rule was enforced – you don’t realise how much time you spend on it until it’s use is restricted. So many times I’ve been at a concert and you actually end up watching the whole thing through a flurry of phones. I’ve tried to just stop recording at concerts to get the perfect video for Instagram and just enjoy the moment. I’ve touched upon this more in my Overexposed blog post – but perhaps a no phone/camera rule should become the norm at concerts from now on?
Ms Keys came onstage around 10pm, so being the avid concert-goer I am, I knew she’d be on for around an hour. She sang songs from her new album and without wanting to spoil it too much for you, it has an old school 90s hip-hop vibe… I cannot wait to be rinsing Pawn It All for myself, but for now I’ll be sticking to In Common.
Alicia also brought out some special guests in the form of UK Grime artists: Lady Leshurr, Nadia Rose and Wretch 32. Not even going to lie – I’m not the biggest fan of Grime – it reminds me of the childish rhymes and antics of my secondary school life, particularly year 8 and 9 (NO THANK YOU). But I am an advocate for UK music and I’m glad to see UK and US coming together more and more. Maybe it’s a good thing that Drake is taking this London roadman ting seriously?
I cannot wait for this album to come out and I get to see Alicia Keys again.