Tuesday, May 06, 2014

LIVE FROM NEW YORK: Iggy Azalea at Irving Plaza

Photo Credit: @lesleykat
On Cinco de Mayo (aka a Normal Monday Night, really), a work bestie and I traveled down to Union Square to Iriving Plaza. I haven't been to this venue in years -- not since I was an intern back in 2009! -- but I will be returning around a month from now to see the recently reunited Danity Kane at the same place. The venue is two stories but is mid-size. It fits just over a thousand people.

We were at Irving to see Iggy Azalea -- and honestly, we couldn't have picked a better time to see the Australian femcee of the moment if we tried.

Her latest single, the sassy "Fancy" featuring Charli XCX, peaked this week at #7 on the Hot 100 (and it's hit #1 on the US Hot Rap Chart). Her debut full-length album, The New Classic, dropped at the end of April and sold enough to garner immediate comparisons to Nicki Minaj before her. And her tandem feature on Ariana Grande's latest single, "Problem", is billeted to gain record-breaking sales.

A DJ dipped out first spinning a variety of Beyonce, rap staples and a handful of R&B classics (and strangely, Soulja Boy). The dance party energy was palpable but as his set wore on, the crowd grew listless. Finally, the DJ bowed out but instead of leading into Iggy as the crowd expected, the stage remained dark. For another 45 minutes. The crowd excitement quickly turned sour. An announcement came on the loudspeaker declaring there had been "technical difficulties" and was met with boos.

Finally, around 9:35pm, the stage lights came on and Iggy made her triumphant entrance. Bad blood was forgotten after her opening number and Azalea apologized for her late arrival, mentioning again the technical difficulties, before launching right into her "favorite" song of her latest release (and one of mine as well) "F*ck Love". 

Although her set was relatively short (just under an hour), the energy remained high throughout and entire crowd was constantly dancing and singing along. Prior singles "Bounce" and "Change Your Life" were huge highlights. Midway through, Azalea left the stage for a costume change before her NSFW viral mixtape hit "Pu$$y" (yup and produced by Fuego) was cued up to immense cheering. "Fancy" was an obvious crowd favorite but should have been included in her one-two punch that was her finale: a Rita Ora-less "Black Widow" (this is the projected next single from The New Classic project and Ora was in NYC for the Met Ball gala -- she could have made an appearance. Sigh.) and her breakthrough single "Work".

For an Instagrammed sampler of my fave moments, check my IG.

The crowd clamored for more but Azalea simply thanked the crowd and bowed out sans encore.

Truthfully, I had a ton of fun despite Azalea's sound not being my usual live music scene. When she was on stage, she was werk-in' it and good gravy is she gorgeous in person! Her trademarked nasally rap tones were clear and audible throughout -- she sounded fantastic. However, the late arrival (whatever the reason), the truncated set and the no-encore was a little disappointing.

Grumbles aside, "Black Widow" and the rest of Iggy's hits (and "F*ck Love" because yes) are remaining turntable staples on la Radio de Mel. Summer Anthems for the win. Give the latter a spin below.

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