PARTYNEXTDOOR at Brixton Academy

PARTYNEXTDOOR’s ‘Infinity Tour’ arrived at Brixton, providing an evening of celebration of his best music and the many successful hits he’s written for other stars. Support act Jessie Reyez was energetic and lively, although her set was seemingly longer than most of the audience had wished for it to be. Her set excluded props and other performers, meaning her isolation probably disappointed the crowd.

The main man was far from disappointing though, and he didn’t wait to perform the fan-favourites. Opening with the ‘Recognize’ collaboration between himself and his label’s founder, Drake, he followed up with the infamously short ‘Break From Toronto’. The crowd was successfully hyped and ready for more. With little dialogue between tracks and PND taking several short breaks for refreshments, there were times when it was unclear to the audience exactly what was happening, despite the constant flow of smash hits. Deciding to change outfit halfway through the set didn’t exactly help PND with the fluidity of the show.

His stage design was excellent. Drummer, guitarist and pianist were physically divided by their own individual open glass boxes in which they performed, and performed thrillingly, worthy of their ovation at the end.

Switching between newer hits and old mixtape classics, PND served up something for every type of PND fan. He performed his smooth R&B, his dancehall numbers such as ‘Not Nice’, and his chart successes. He even saved time to debut his new Calvin Harris collaboration ‘Nuh Ready Nuh Ready’, which did unfortunately lead to a brief dip in atmosphere, considering nobody knew the lyrics.

Tracks from both 2017 EP’s were performed, including the Halsey collaboration ‘Damage’ and ‘Freak In You’, which Drake remixed last year. The variety of sounds and projects PND was able to refer back to was a solid reminder that he’s the closest thing OVO has produced to the label’s kingpin, Drake himself.

Upon reflection, it seems that PND has somewhat outgrown arenas of Brixton Academy’s size and nature. His elaborate stage design and band set-up would be even more effective with more floor space, plus the demand for tickets was much higher than the supply.

 

Written by George Kennedy

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