As Kung Fu Kenny burst onto the stage the mass of thousands of concert goers instantly came alive. Pyrotechnics boomed and the flames licked the air, what a monumental entrance from lyrical genius Kendrick Lamar.
In the lead up to a concert I find myself more and more curious about the artist I'm about to see in the flesh. Kendrick Lamar has intrigued me from the get go: 31 years old, a Christian guy that doesn't drink or dabble in drugs and is engaged to his long-time girlfriend. He seems like a guy with his feet on the ground, I mean, how many twelve-time GRAMMY Award winners write their albums in their mum's kitchen in Compton, California?
Forsyth Barr Stadium had an incredible air to it on the night and the vibe was contagious. Everyone in seated areas were on their feet, dancing and singing. Thousands of fans on the pitch moved up and down in unison, and their energy was unwavering from start until finish. I imagine it would be incredible to be in a small city in the South Island of New Zealand knowing that your music reaches all sorts of people in places far from your own home and experiences.
A Martial Arts theme was threaded through the performance, from Lamar's clothing choice, to the backdrop imagery and the sword fighter who emerged from the smoke. Lamar performed a mammoth set list of 19 songs, the encore being crowd favourite All the Stars. The crowd also went crazy for King Kunta, DNA. and HUMBLE.
It appeared Lamar was focusing all his energy on his performance so his interaction with the crowd was minimal, therefore the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner still remains an intriguing enigma.
Review by Lauren McKinnon