Stormzy performing his Heavy Is The Head Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Monday 21st March 2022.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Stormzy took to the Motorpoint Arena stage on Monday night where ten thousand fans, young and old eagerly awaited to see him perform and what a show it was.

Put together by the teams behind Beyonce’s historic Coachella set and his 2019 Glastonbury performance, it was a lavish, no expense spared stage and light show that asserted Stormzy’s status as the country’s biggest rapper.

Emerging on a swaying platform amid a hail of strobe lights and pyrotechnics, he repaid his faithful fans with a blistering start of some of his more upbeat songs from his 2019 album Heavy Is The Head. There was Big Michael and Audacity, whilst the incendiary Know Me From was accompanied by balls of fire all of which served to show that the big name and personality was matched with a stage presence that the Arena hasn’t seen for a long time.

Making use of a two pronged catwalk and five budget bursting video screens, for the first part of his set he commanded the stage for the likes of the energetic Cold from his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer, new song Handsome, and First Things First.

The mood mellowed with a stirring gospel soul section that introduced a full band and six backing singers and for Crown the lighting rig turned into a large crown which came down to encircle the rappers head, and which transformed into a giant S for the start of Superheroes. The capacity crowd were simply mesmerized and with each pace across the stage, Stormzy had them transfixed.

The pace picked up with Cigarettes and Cush and Rachael’s Little Brother and the set hit a new height with the powerful Rainfall. The energy was raised even higher with the ferociously articulated Wiley Flow and the pace didn’t falter as he raced through his biggest hits, Clash, Big For Your Boots and set closer Shut Up, some of which were performed inside a giant oscillating scale of justice.

A short film followed in which he promoted his yet untitled third studio album before the encore songs of Blinded By Your Grace Part 2 sung gospel style under a huge projection of a crucifix and his huge hit Vossi Pop which brought the whole all out grime party to an end.

Thanking his fans for hanging onto their tickets, when the music finished and the house lights went up, the undisputed king of UK rap spent time with the people who had waited two years to see him, rewarding them with selfies and handshakes.

And with him sitting on an album full of new material waiting to be released later this year, this crowd will have everything crossed that he tours it, but he will have to go some to beat Monday’s showing.