Tinie Tempah at The o2, Dublin, 9th April 2014
Tinie Tempah has a lot to prove – at least, he seems to think he does. Realistically, he shouldn’t think this: the crowd are already suitably merry, with the atmosphere falling somewhere between Ibiza and a Wezz disco.
Towering above the crowd in a Roman ampitheatre-style set, the hip-hop juggernaut looks determined to deliver. Lover Not A Fighter, one of the rapper’s many collaborations with Labrinth, kicks off proceedings, in suitable, dramatic style.
Initially, Tinie comes off as a little stiff, until he launches into smash hit Frisky. Sharing vocals with DJ Charlzy, and leaving most of the hard work to Labrinth on the backing track, he is defiant and bold. When at times he is weak vocally, his remarkably strong backing band make up for it in spade-loads.
Tinie is a rapper first, and a performer second. But that doesn’t mean he can’t put on a show. He easily works the crowd, and is only too happy to bask in their praise following a rousing peformance of Wonderman.
Though his list of collaborators is as long as your arm, Tinie maintains his own presence, as shown during the aptly-titled Earthquake.
His journey from being Rihanna’s supporting act to having his own arena tour is the focal point of conversation throughout the night. He expresses gratitude to the crowd, talks at length about how this tour was all for them.
“Ireland has the most beautiful women in the entire world,” he proclaims, as the audience is flooded love heart hand gestures.
The real fun begins as he relaxes into the set, as he tears into Shape, poking fun at American counterpart Drake with cheesy dance move galore. However, one does wonder how he got away with a lyric as brazen as “suffer like a Suffragette”.
He is keen to perform new material, such as A Heart Can Save The World, and he speaks earnestly about his thought process when it came to writing sophmore album ‘Demonstration’. Interrupting the flow slightly, the crowd aren’t on board to begin with, but are won over by the end of the song.
The rapper never misses a beat and impresses with the ease he can play the crowd. However, as he describes himself as “wise beyond his years” following his debut, his soliloquay comes as off as a little bit pretentious.
“I want everyone to have a great night, and to leave here with some inspirational words,” he says, leading into Heroes.
Pomp aside, he’s clearly doing something right and is certainly back on form performing Written In The Stars to a rapturous crowd.
He is as much a rockstar as he is a rapper. The highlight of the night comes in the form of a triple threat – Miami 2 Ibiza, Drinking From The Bottle and Tsnuami. Tinie delivers an absolutely relentless performance as the crowd and the stage almost become one.
He encourages moshpits throughout the night with caution. “Don’t hurt anybody, make sure you all go home safe,” he laughs.
Finishing with the song that made him famous, Pass Out is accompanied by the snarling guitars. To say that Tinie Tempah incites excitement and adrenaline during his set is an understatement.
Tinie Tempah Photo Gallery
Photos: Shaun Neary