GIG: FRANK OCEAN / LOVEBOX #013

Friday 14th July 2017

Venue: Victoria Park, London

Nearest tube station: Bethnal Green (Central Line)

I got to Victoria Park for around 13:30ish and the excitement was clear to see around the park. Some were a little too excited and appeared to be a little worse for wear but hey that’s always going to happen isn’t it.

First act to watch was Rex Orange County on the Noisey stage sponsored by Vice. The eighteen year old had just appeared on Tyler, the Creator’s latest release ‘Boredom’ and released his debut album on April 26th. So young with a variety of talents, starting on keys and moving onto guitar whilst throwing in his splendid voice and original rapping ability. A great start to the day with an appreciative audience to match.

Moving onto seeing Kaytranada on the same stage a couple of beers and hours later. The Noisey stage wasn’t huge but it was classed as the second stage and it was full to the brim spilling outside into the glorious sunny weather. The atmosphere was full of happiness and the music resonated too, ‘Got It Good’ featuring Craig David received a huge welcome from the London crowd. A wonderful set and next time we’ll more than likely see him on a bigger stage which goes the same for the next act on the same stage. Sampha brought even more people to the smaller second stage and left the crowd with a great fulfilment from an act that should be on a bigger stage but absolutely bossed it with standout track ‘Blood On Me’ was stunning live.

Onto the main stage and Jamie XX who was a good warm up choice for the main act, spinning tracks in the wonderful sunshine and keeping the crowd bopping to his mixes and minimal but worthwhile interaction with the crowd.

Then there was Frank. His first performance in London since Brixton Academy in July 2013, you could feel the anticipation throughout the fans. A long walk way into the middle of the crowd was erected and it wasn’t until Mr Ocean took to the stage it came apparent why it was there. Later finding out that he was being filmed up close by director Spike Jonze and it was being mirrored onto the big screens with an old camcorder echoing Frank’s vibe. He had Amos and seats in a circle at the end of the walkway and his band joined him sitting down and playing from the comfort of their circle, a magical coming together of musicians for the mysterious and magical artist. Standout live tracks for me include ‘Biking’, ‘Ivy’ and ‘Pyramids’. Overall a mesmerising set but the only downfall was the lack of ‘Channel Orange’ material performed, having been his debut album and the album that made people fall for his music I expected more from it. It it wasn’t to be. A set I surely won’t forget anytime soon though.

Set list:

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