Pusha T at The Button Factory – Photos & Review
Supporting Pusha T in Dublin was Simi Crowns, a spirited rapper from Park West. With a bass, drums and DJ supporting him, Simi danced away on stage to songs from his mix tape, featuring some well known tracks as backing beats. Personally I found Simi’s flow and style a bit static, but he gave it his all on stage and got the crowd going. With the release of his new EP coming this summer, I’m sure Simi will be a regular on the Dublin rap circuit in the months to come.
Opening the show with the confident track ‘King Push’, Pusha T revealed himself to the long awaiting Dublin crowd. The songwriter and rapper has a dedicated following that has traced his career from his earliest days in Rap in the duo ‘Clipse’ to his most recent fame with GOOD Music. His hits ‘Suicide’ and ‘Sweet Serenade’ had the packed Button Factory dancing from side to side whereas tracks like ‘Exodus 23:1’ and ‘My God’ had a more serious tone, Pusha articulating every syllable with great conviction.
One of the most interesting features of Pusha T’s career is his collaborations with artists. His creative relationship with Kanye led to him featuring on ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”s hit ‘Runaway’, which also led to him being introduced to many other people within the industry.
There was some superb stage production and fluidity of transitions, each song rolling into the next; a well put together set that highlighted the best of his career so far. The backing singer was also exceptional, and really made an impact on the song ”40 Acres’ which was part of the encore and featured a stripped back, intense introduction, the best performance from the show by far.
During the concert Pusha T had a chat with the audience about himself and his music and had the classic hip hop air-horns interjecting perfectly at every break in the sentence… it must have taken months to rehearse that! Along with his solo material, Pusha also did some of his best known features and covers including ‘New God Flow’, ‘So Appalled’ and ‘Mercy’ which were cleverly arranged. Even though he put on a good show, Pusha’s distance from the crowd was disappointing. He was very close to the fans with no barrier between the stage and audience, and yet he never engaged with the crowd. It was like he was performing for a music video, staring off straight ahead not connecting with the crowd in any way. This lack of acknowledgment effected my outlook on him as a performer, and it was definitely a missed opportunity to connect with the fans. With that said his strong body of work was able to keep the crowd interested, even with the lack of showmanship on his part.
Review by Ruth McGovern
Photos by Tudor Marian