Wilkinson stands surrounded in an epic new setup at one of his favourite venues in the country. Bournemouth’s O2 Academy is rammed as the UK drum and bass producer is about to play his second to last show of his Hypnotic Live Tour for his upcoming album Hypnotic before his biggest show yet at London’s Roundhouse. But this show was nothing of a warm up.
It has been four years since the release of his debut Lazers Not Included, but lasers were everywhere in tonight’s extravagant performance, and if you thought that seeing a producer ‘live’ meant watching them DJ behind a booth, then in this case you thought wrong. As well as his band, Wilkinson is joined onstage by his MC and an array of vocalists that appear as silhouettes amongst the blinding euphoric lights. Everything in this performance is played live from the drums to the keys and electric guitar, which Tom Varrel proves so wonderfully in ‘Hopelessly Coping’ that they are not just for rock music.
A whopping twenty-three songs are on the setlist for this tour, including new tracks from Hypnotic including pop-edged ‘Sweet Lies’, ‘Hypnotic’, ‘Heaven’ and ‘Breathe’, that feature powerful vocals and big production. Wilkinson displays his variation, however, with grime-edged track ‘What’ and ‘Brand New’, gets the crowd pumping, channeling a more electronic rock Pendulum vibe.
As well as teasers from the new album, Wilkinson plays an array of tunes from his back catalogue such as ‘Dirty Love’, ‘Take You Higher’ and ‘Hit The Floor’. There is no stopping, as each track moves seamlessly from one to another like a continuous mix and the BPM is at an almost constant, keeping the heartbeats of the crowd pumping and making it the sweatiest place on Earth.
Thus far, Wilkinson has not said a single word; communication has all been in the hands of his trusty MC. However, he finally steps down from his plethora of drum kits and keyboards to greet his fans before thanking his entire band, MC and the fans themselves. A very short-lived break is taken before the first piano chords of final track ‘Afterglow’ are hit – the track that everybody has been waiting for.
Words by Rosalyn Boder @