Performers: Young Ads & Dirtbike LB
Review Date: December 11 2019
Performance: December 11 2019
Location: O2 Academy, Liverpool
Duration: 150 Minutes
Age Rating: 17+
On Wednesday December 11, I went to Liverpool’s O2 Academy to watch London-based hip-hop duo D-Block. I would never normally go to a hip-hop gig, and it was very different to any other gig I’d been to before; however, I was pleasantly surprised.
D-Block Europe are a male duo performing trap-style music. They are currently touring the UK. Members include Young Ads and Dirtbike LB, and as noted, they were playing at the O2 Academy in Liverpool, a great and spacious venue where many well-known artists have previously performed at.
Before D-Block came on, popular and current music played, which was similar to the duo’s trap style. The crowd were already dancing, and there was a real sense of pre-gig adrenaline. This meant that when they did come on, which was quite quickly as they didn’t have a support act, the crowd were ready and excited to watch a band they’d paid to watch. As soon as they began playing their first song, the crowd ushered forwards, coming together and trying to get closer to the stage. The stage itself was lit with spotlights of different colours, creating a vibrant neon effect which actually suited the duo’s upbeat and energetic style well.
The crowd were singing along to all of the lyrics, which I found impressive as there were quite a lot of lyrics in the songs. I could tell there were many dedicated fans in the audience. I could tell because they sang every word perfectly and confidently. Another give-away was that they would cheer after one beat at the start of a song, as if they knew exactly what song it was from that one beat!
Both the main floor and the top floor were full of dancing fans. People were jumping and laughing in joy. The duo themselves were having a lot of fun on-stage too, as they walked along in an energetic way! They also spoke a lot to the crowd and got them involved with chants at different parts of the songs, and cutting the music for lines of the chorus so that the audience can sing. They certainly made sure that everyone was having a good time!
As I’ve mentioned, I would never normally go to a trap gig or hip-hop gig, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when walking into the venue. Personally, I think the best way to describe it was that it resembled a big house party: a room full of people drinking and dancing to modern music.
The songs themselves are what you would expect from hip-hop artists: fast, upbeat and energetic. A lot of the songs morphed into the next without an introduction, and I found it hard to know when a new song was playing, only noticing based on the audience’s reactions.
There were many effects on the microphone, such as voice-morphing and also an auto-tune style effect which made it sound more like a digital track rather than a live performance. I found this a little off-putting, but the crowd seemed to enjoy it. They would also insert random sound effects in between songs, and a common one was the sound of glass shattering. It sounded like a strange cartoon movie sound effect, and it gradually became more frequent as the show went on. However, there may be a good reason for this that I am unaware of.
They played many songs from their successful 2018 album Any Minute Now. I found the songs fun and well-written, even though it’s not the type of music I would normally listen to. The duo really knew what they were doing, though; they knew what the crowd wanted too.
If you like trap music or hip-hop, I would recommend D-Block. Their name is rising through the ranks in these genres. They have a great energy live and if you can get a chance to see them, you would have a fun and wild night.
Target Audience: Ages 17+
Content: 4/5 – Frequent Strong Language
Overall Rating: 6/10 – Reasonable
Find out more about D-Block Europe by clicking here.