Alley Palley night 1: Fred was in his element! The performance was flawless, from live remixing to incredible visuals but perhaps incomplete?
Last week, the 30-year-old Electronic producer, Fred Gibson, announced on Instagram that he is beyond excited for the show, and that each night of his tour will be different, including setlist, and remixing songs live.
On the 4th of September Fred Again.. played his first show of his European tour and the first of his four shows inside London’s Alexandra palace. The London-born EDM performer smiled in disbelief as he told the crowd, that he grew up going to the iconic concert venue. On the screen he wrote “nothing is ever as good as playing at home”.
Alley Palley opened its doors opened at 7pm. The queues were bearable and after taking time to get some food and drink inside, I made my way into the actual venue and took my spot not far from the front barrier. The support act was London-based EDM duo, Joy Anonymous who played for around 30 minutes starting at 8pm. Their set was lively and well-performed, which set up perfectly for Fred’s show.
After a long wait in what can only be described as a greenhouse due to the venues large glass roof, Fred was finally on at 9pm. Despite the extreme heat and underlying smell of sweat the crowd remained in high spirits throughout the whole show, selflessly helping pass cups of water back to help those struggling in the middle of the crowd.
Fred Again.. opened with the wholesome spoken-word poem turned dance track, Kyle (i found you) whilst the audience screamed every word. Then Fred seamlessly flowed into a handful of emotional songs from his trio of albums titled ‘Actual Life’. This included Bleu (better with time), Tate (how i feel) and into the more energetic track Kammy (like i do).
Then, Fred asks if he can try something he hasn’t tried in a long time, he parted the sea of fans down the middle and walked through eagerly to a smaller stage set up in the middle of the room. The producer then hit the exhilarated crowd with fan-favourites Jungle and popular grime dance track Rumble, playing the song twice and making a completely new unheard remix as he adds heavy drum sounds live.
The king of electronic music then returned to the front stage keeping the high energy and live drums as he teased an unreleased song that samples Baby Keem’s ‘South Africa’. For me, this was when the show went up a level from very good to incredible.
The music then slowed down, as Fred transitioned into his new song, 2023 summer release, adore u, that features the beautiful vocals of Obongjayar. The gentle glittery notes were received with pure elation amongst the crowd. Fred announced, “this one is for your brothers and sisters,” dedicating the song to his sister, whom he wrote the song about. Some people around me were even moved to tears as the song played alongside a compilation of heartfelt videos of loved ones filmed by fans.
The emotions continued to run high, as Fred played his euphoric remix of Frank Ocean’s ‘Channel’ as a video of the beloved singer performing played on the large screen. The crowd then erupted when hearing the first few chords of Delilah (pull me out of this), chanting the melody as they waited for the drop. Simultaneously, the main screen showed videos of fireworks travelling up above the heads of fans onto the huge overhanging screens that fans could look up above to.
For the next track Fred Again.. told fans hold up their phone torches and blue plastic squares they were given in the queue creating a sea of small blue lights. The interactive idea was great in theory, but as the lights in the room were already blue, it didn’t work as well as the producer may have hoped.
The incredible show closed with Angie (Ive been lost). Fred Again.. commanded the crowd to sing along, splitting them into 2 sides and at the end asking them to sing in unison, creating an overwhelmingly ecstatic atmosphere to end the show.
Unfortunately, the only thing stopping this show from being a perfect 5/5 stars was the abrupt ending. Personally, the sudden ending made the show feel slightly incomplete without an encore as a few popular songs were still left to play and it had not yet reached 11pm. For example, the high energy Marea (we lost dancing), Baby Again.. and Turn On The Lights again.. were all missing.
However, as I mentioned earlier, each show is supposed to be unique from each other so it makes sense that some songs will be swapped so he can have a different setlist each night. This didn’t make it any easier for the loving fans who waited at least 15 minutes hoping for an encore.
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