The uninformed were probably scratching their heads wondering why queues for the Academy looped past Supermacs on Sunday.
Adding to that confusion would be the additional information that those queuing were doing so for a four song set. It’s not every day Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals comes to town though, is it?
Coming off the back off of Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic tour, the Paakman wants to make his money back. And in fairness, fans get their money’s worth. The Free Nationals are expert hypemen – playing a dash of Migos, a peppering of Kanye, and a lot of Kendrick Lamar so as to oblige screaming crowd members (Me? Never).
It’s a sweaty hot ‘n’ heavy meet with an almost underground feel; as if attendees are in all cahoots about the talent they’re witnessing.
Come Down pummels with unmeasured force, shooting from the hip at the feet of the crowd. He’s a dreamy R&B boy for sure, but he plays the role of disco king best. It’s all shimmy and shake as he maneuvers across the somewhat limited stage – given the hype from the crowd and his own onstage persona – in a slinky a fashion as Randall from Monsters Inc.
Am I Wrong follows suit – all buttery vocals plus brash flourishes equal deep set grooves. One can only imagine how much more effective the song would be performed with a full band.
His interpolation of R Kelly’s Ignition into Glowed Up – his collaboration with R&B/dance super producer Kaytranada – steals the show, and should sway the remaining fence-sitters in the room.
As a performer, he’s fluid yet strong, maintaining a significance presence at all times. Supporting Bruno Mars shouldn’t undermine his critical standing, and it certainly hasn’t dented his ego. He re-imagines the decades as easily as he delivers a modern day flow.
It’s effortless, and above all else, it’s exciting. It’s a pity for most that we’re getting such a limited taste from his font of talents. Given the rabid reaction and utter dedication of the crowd though, he’ll probably squeeze a few more tunes in the next time he’s over for a visit.