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Live Review + Gallery: Anderson .Paak (REBEL / Toronto, ON)

On the final night of Andy’s Beach Club World Tour in North America, Anderson .Paak came performed to a sold-out REBEL in one of the most hype shows I have seen at the infamous nightclub in quite some time. Combining funk and rap elements with his lyrical flow and soulful voice, .Paak won the crowd over almost immediately when he hit the stage. Oh, and not to mention he did most of this while laying down fat grooves and displaying killer skills on the drums! Based out of Los Angeles, .Paak has certainly found mainstream stay with his critically and commercially successful fourth LP, Oxnard. Transitioning over from the more “indie” side of hip-hop, .Paak’s recent endeavor has notable names such as Kendrick Lamar, Pusha-T, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and J. Cole featured throughout the album which is a staple on how sought after this young talent is. Now playing some of the biggest stages in the world and receiving prime-time festival slots, Anderson .Paak certainly has lived up to the expectations that come with witnessing his live shows.

Opening the night with a translucent curtain obscuring the stage, .Paak took a seat behind his drum kit and got right into “The Chase” which is the first track off of Oxnard. As mentioned before, it really was impressive to see .Paak not only maintain a consistent beat throughout, but also hit every note singing and rapping as well. From this opening, .Paak came to center stage and got right into one of my personal favorites, “Who R U?”. An absolute banger that really displays .Paak’s ability to establish concise flow and rhythm, this was the perfect way to get the audience’s blood pumping early in the night. With each bass slap, .Paak danced around as air canisters fired off, heightening the intensity. As the night progressed, the curtain hiding his production and backing band came down and .Paak seemed to dial up the excitement with each song. Not only was his setlist brimming with originals, but .Paak also had some covers up his sleeve; my favorite of which was his rendition of Mac Miller’s “Dang!”. A tribute to the late rapper, .Paak’s interpretation of Miller’s popular track was unique and touching. Even with his passing, Miller’s spirit lives on through the contributions from artists such as .Paak.

Bolstering the swagger of funk legends such as James Brown and Rick James while also showing off his hip-hop side (courtesy of his mentor Dr. Dre), Anderson .Paak is truly one of a kind in showing that he is both a marvelous musician and performer. After witnessing .Paak’s stunning set, two satisfying words never left my mind: YES LAWD!

Jackson Fleming
Feb. 26, 2019


Toronto, Ontario