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WPGM Reviews: Akon Live At Eventim Apollo (In Pictures)

Sunday 28th April saw international sensation and award winning Senegalese-American artist Akon bring the party to the Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith) as part of his ‘Superfan’ Tour.

A sellout crowd assembled well before the doors opened, with queues snaked back-and- forth in front of the grand Apollo venue, a tangible air of excitement from a varied and large fan base, which only increased in size and enthusiasm as patrons were let in to hurriedly find the best view in the front row.

Before long, the Eventim stalls and seated balcony were full, and the warm-up DJ for the evening, Nektunez, made his way onstage. Playing a varied mix of hip-hop and R&B from all over the planet, he certainly keyed into the vibe of the evening, increasing the aforementioned party atmosphere further with every track.

I’m sure many would have been perfectly happy for him to perform for the rest of the evening, were he playing the main slot in a club or festival, however the end of his great set signalled Akons ‘Superfans’ in attendance were one step closer to the main man of the evening taking the stage.

And so he did soon after, entering atop a set of clean white steps amongst atmospheric smoke and backlit from a huge screen. “Out Here Grinding” was performed to introduce himself and the band, his extravagant and detailed matching white coat was clear for all to see… even though he was mostly in silhouette.

The gig itself included roughly 40 different tracks in one way or another, some referred to with a verse or two, many the full-length song. This meant if you have a favourite Akon anthem, either of his own creation or as feature, it was very likely covered in the set… something not many artists can say of their concerts.

Much like Nektunez, the flow of the track list perfectly dictated the energy levels in the room, managing to keep up the lively feeling with phases of top quality R&B / Hip-Hop hits, African inspired tracks and more dancey tunes expertly balanced with some of his slower numbers, many of which were accompanied by the ever-beautiful twinkling lights (now phone flashlights) from a darkened crowd.

Akon’s set also contained an interlude by Konvict artist Amirror, performing three tracks in total with an often hypnotic performance, which unfortunately was over all too quickly, ready for Akon to return and finish off his extensive set-list.

Covering “Locked Up”, “Belly Dancer”, “Lonely”, “Smack That”, “I Wanna Love You”, “Don’t Matter”, “Right Now”, Beautiful”, “Work Hard”, “Sexy B**ch” and many many more, if an attendee didn’t consider themselves a ‘Supefan’ before the evening started, they certainly did after.

Definitely a show and performer to catch if you want an evening of great music, good vibes and a party atmosphere!

The Akon Superfan tour moves onto mainland Europe for the remainder of May.

Words and pictures by Andrew Roast

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