The London Music Hall was bursting with excitement for a night of hip-hop and R&B acts last Thursday. Goncept, NA20, Dylan James and headliner Karl Wolf lit up the stage.
Local rap artist Goncept started the night by performing to background beats. Though his raps and rhymes were strong, he had difficulty engaging the audience.
NA20, a female-fronted act, hit the stage next. With two feisty women rapping and singing, NA20 came out with even more confidence than Goncept. They filled the venue with inspirational tracks — one of their lyrics told the audience, “Whatever men can do, women can do better.”
The crowd was entertained by a DJ during set changes, and the audience relaxed with some crumping and dancing. However, for those not in the mood to dance, shorter breaks between acts would have been appreciated.
Toronto-born artist Dylan James was the night’s third act and he brought his boy-next-door charm to the stage. The 17-year-old proved to be a great performer as he high-fived fans and belted his tunes — his talent shows a lot of potential. He appeared extremely comfortable on stage and seemed to have a great time entertaining the crowd.
After a successful set of openers. headliner Karl Wolf emerged with energy and charisma. Taking centre stage, he sang his popular track “Africa,” a remake of the 1982 hit by Toto.
In terms of initiating chemistry with the crowd, Wolf was no amateur.
Performing in a white tank top, Wolf played the part of the bad boy rapper. Tattooed, muscular and with a confident swagger, Wolf was a definite presence on stage — even ripping off his shirt at one point.
Despite playing up his sexuality a bit too much, there’s no doubting Wolf is a dynamic performer — he worked hard and kept the crowd’s energy level up for the remainder of the night.
While Wolf may be a larger than life performer, with “Africa” finding itself near the top of Canadian Top 40 charts, his down-to-earth personality was evident after the show. He stuck around to sign autograph and pose in pictures with fans to further engage with the crowd.
Overall, Wolf and his openers provided the audience at the London Music Hall with an entertaining Thursday night.