Azealia Banks at O2 Ritz, Manchester, UK – 24th January 2019

Posted by Bianca on Thursday Jan 24, 2019 Under Dance, Hip Hop/Rap

Review + Photos by Frank Ralph

Azealia Banks is the queen.

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For me, she’s the modern-day version of Betty Davis, the free spirit that inspired Miles Davis. Young and wild, nasty (in a nice way), playful and sultry – and more than anything, she’s absolutely unbeatable on stage. Whether she’s spitting fire over the nastiest of beats, singing over massive club bangers or playfully crooning over a trippy jazz beat she sounds incredible.

The intensity built with every track and the suspension of the floorboards at the Ritz was given one hell of a work out as a whole room of devoted fans absolutely went off on one. This was a truly memorable show, and with it being my third time seeing Ms Banks I can tell you that she’s just getting better and better as time goes on.

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The crowd itself was a truly diverse gathering of people and it was a beautiful thing to see. Just a room full of like-minded music lovers from all walks of life there for the same reason.

With tracks like 1991, Escapades, Liquorice and Treasure Island culled from her one full length album ‘Broke with Expensive Taste’, a host of ep’s and several mixtapes it’s clear that she has a much wider breadth of styles available to her than many other acts, and this diversity of music meant that her show stayed fresh and interesting from start to finish.

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She’s one of the best rappers you’ll ever hear, and her high energy on the likes of Liquorice and 212 matches that of her incredible dancers (who do not stop all night). Backed by DJ and live drummer the sound is bigger than I’ve heard in the Ritz.

If you can forget all the drama that surrounds her away from the stage – and the often unwarranted treatment she gets in the press – seeing Azealia live on stage is seeing a performer on top of her game, effortlessly commanding her audience and showing exactly what music can do to people.

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See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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