How Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals put on the best show of summer ’16
Vancouver, BC – If you’re reading this without previous knowledge of California soul-child Anderson .Paak, school yourself with a copy of his 2016 release Malibu and prepare to never let it go. Arguably one of this year’s best albums, .Paak & The Free Nationals broke hard into the mainstream early this year with the critically acclaimed album and since have been spreading the vibe throughout sold-out shows and festivals across North America. The movement they continue to face from .Paak’s reinvention of R&B / soul is impressive but also glaringly deserved.
The Malibu Tour recently hit Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre with guests Duckwrth and Vancouver’s own Pomo.
Front to back it’s clear that Malibu has high classic appeal but watching and hearing the Cali-native perform the album live in a semi-intimate venue takes it to a whole other level. Immediately stepping on stage following his band The Free Nationals, the entire vibe of the room was switched up and lifted. The audience was present, immediately captivated and forcibly moved from the moment he arrived. Kicking off with “Come Down” thoroughly grabbed the crowd’s attention and despite the venue’s theatre style seating there wasn’t a body in the room that wasn’t dancing and or singing along.
It’s a fact that the the artist formerly known as Breezy Lovejoy is a multi-talented producer, writer and singer / emcee but .Paak is also a true entertainer, completely. From stage presence, to on-point live lyrical talent to epic drum solos (he plays in his own band, obvs) there wasn’t a single dull moment throughout his entire 50 minute set. His visuals perfectly complimented his performance, his presence on stage was magnetizing and his vocals were flawless.
Running through the best of Malibu it was obvious the theatre was filled with devoted fans and as his set began to close out with “Luh You” the Venice hit had the crowd screaming out lyrics “Hey, I think I luh you! Fuck that, I know I do!” The love was real and Anderson .Paak was Vancouver’s hero for the night.
The city was blessed with the rare chance to catch the future legend in a smaller capacity venue. The impact Anderson .Paak left on those in attendance will have them coming back for more although next time he hosts a show prepare for it to be of larger, stadium size proportions.
Review and photography by Kassandra Guagliardi for HipHopCanada