Action Bronson | Live Review

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This is 100% Bronson, and for an hour and half you’re let into the strange and crazy world inside his head.

After a more than memorable performance back in 2014, expectations were understandably very high for Action Bronson’s return to Bristol’s O2 Academy; one of the last stops on his worldwide ‘Mr Wonderful’ tour.

Up first was the young Rejjie Snow, who has earned himself a strong online presence over the past few years with tracks like ‘All Around the World’ getting some serious attention. The adeptness of the Irish newcomer seemed to catch the audience off-guard, as he swept across the stage with ferocity and confidence. Besides, the guy performed in front of an illuminated picture of Lil B, which has to count for something, right? Next up was New Yorker Meyhem Lauren, who stirred up some much-needed East-Coast flavours, with big jazzy boom-bap beats and broad, sharp bars.

And then it was time for Mr Wonderful himself, arriving in trademark tongue in cheek fashion: with a joint in his mouth, a demonic grin spread across his face and the sounds of corny 90s pop tune ‘I Saw the Sign’ blaring out of the monitors. Accompanying him throughout the entire set was Rare Chandeliers-collaborator The Alchemist. As one of the best producers and DJs in the industry, it was a treat for the experienced hip-hop fans in the audience to see the pair sparking off of each other before their very eyes.

A turbulent performance of ‘Actin’ Crazy’ quickly sent the audience into overdrive. Bronson hissed and screamed each bar, whilst the heavy bassline of 40 and Omen’s instrumental rattled the structure of the Academy to its bones. And then, quicker than you can say “All I do is eat oysters”, Bronson was over the barrier and into the crowd, running up and around the balconies, and jumping on fans. Worried glances were exchanged amongst security guards as the sounds of Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m Too Sexy’ and Phil Collins’ ‘Easy Lover’ rang out of Alchemist’s booth. Some people got it and laughed along, others looked bemused, unsure as to whether they were at a hip-hop show or some kind of surreal workplace Christmas party. But this is 100% Bronson, and for an hour and half you’re let into the strange and crazy world inside his head.

Meyhem reappeared mid-set and joined AB for an intense performance of their collaborative effort ‘100 mph’, which dropped earlier this year. Meyhem’s smoky flow mixed with Bronson’s aggressive sneer playfully, as the childhood friends jumped around the stage like hyperactive teenagers.

Bronson is seen by many as one the most unpredictable and exciting performers in hip-hop today, and after this performance, I can’t help but agree with them.

Check out ‘Rare Chandeliers’ below: