Noname at 170 Russell

After releasing Telefone in 2016 as well as featuring on a number of critically acclaimed Chance The Rapper tracks, the Chicago musician’s solo endeavour across the globe was met with nothing but pure excitement and adoration.

The youthful, energetic support act Girl Zone took the venue by storm, dancing and bravely performing well known hip hop tracks to an enthused crowd, setting the vibe for the evening – energetic, light-hearted, but most of all, filled with amazing female talent.

Billy Davis & The Good Lords followed, spreading among the stage to perform hit tracks like ‘Ball And Chain’, ‘No Longer Lovers’ and ‘Goldfish’.

Noname erupted onto the stage after an instrumental interlude, beaming at the packed venue in front of her. Opening with well-loved track ‘Diddy Bop’, the crowd appeared surprisingly quiet at first, visibly mesmerised by the artist’s stage-presence which was simultaneously effortless yet powered with integrity.

The performance’s stripped back live set, featuring guitarist Brian Sanborn, reworked songs like ‘Casket Pretty’ and ‘Bye Bye Baby’ into truly transformative and emotive storytelling, nothing unfamiliar to the style of the former slam-poet.

Bursting with a child-like energy, Noname’s stage craft was fitting for her nostalgic, dream-like sound, egging on the crowd to raise their middle fingers, clap along and repeat verses until they finally got it right.

Rather than stand-alone tracks, Noname effortlessly weaved most of her debut mixtape Telefoneinto a continuous, flowing performance, incorporating new verses, rhymes and renditions from other songs into the set.

As the night drew to a close with well-loved tracks ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Shadow Man’, the crowd appeared eager to hear more of Noname, both in her live performance and for future releases.


For Beat Magazine

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