Kendrick Lamar Shows the Love at iTunes Festival

Photo: Tasha Mathur
Photo: Tasha Mathur

In contrast to the 30 Seconds to Mars iTunes gig, Kendrick Lamar was all about the music. No special effects, no theatrics: all Kendrick needed was his usual cool, controlled rhythm to get the crowd going. This gig was definitely full of die hard Kendrick fans, having to queue up for at least 20 minutes longer than 30 Seconds to Mars.

There couldn’t have been a better supporting artist than Schoolboy Q, getting the crowd so hyped up that it made me hope he comes back next year with his own headline performance. Performing a massive 16 song set, he left the crowd feeling that they had got even more than they expected.

With a perfectly timed gap in between Schoolboy Q and Kendrick, it gave the crowd time to get sufficiently hyped (and drunk) and fully ready for Lamar’s entrance. In such a small and intimate venue such as The Roundhouse, the connection between the award winning artist and the audience was clear. Singing along word for word to every single song, the dedication and passion amongst the fans meant all Kendrick had to do was do what he does best: let the lyrics speak for themselves.

With Schoolboy Q supporting, it seemed to be almost a given that the two would perform a couple of tracks together, with both artists already having collaborated on songs such as ‘Blessed’ (something I was particularly looking forward to). However, I was left slightly disappointed with two entirely separate performances even though Schoolboy Q performed their track, ‘Collard Greens’, but without Kendrick.

Lamar did, however, spoil the crowd with a bit of a capella from his older mixtape, and it showed how truly talented this guy is. During the classic, ‘Swimming Pools’, Kendrick also sent around a bottle of alcohol into the crowd telling everyone to take a sip, make a toast and pass it on. Now if that’s not love, what is?

After a cleverly short set, Kendrick left the stage as bluntly as he arrived. He left the crowd wanting more, shouting for an encore, but happy with Kendrick’s promise that he will always come back to London. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later!

Watch back the full gig here.

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