Monday night saw Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era continue into phase four of their ‘World Domination Tour’. Bringing the ‘European Invasion’ leg to Camden’s Roundhouse, the Brooklyn collective will go on to play four more dates in the UK before hitting the rest of the continent and rounding things off back home in NYC.
It’s testament to the rampant talent within the Pro Era that they’re able to keep things almost entirely in-house. Nyck Caution and CJ Fly kick things off with a set each punctuated by high octane DJ sets, before penultimate act Kirk Knight takes to the stage.
Knight’s full-length debut ‘Late Knight Special‘ isn’t even a month old, but he’s already able to perform it like he’s been doing it for years. In fact, his set reaches fever pitch when the four mosh pits induced by recent single ‘Knight Time‘ cause an audience member to faint – putting the show on hold to allow for her safe evacuation. The evening’s hysterics must have made a memorable 20th birthday for the MC and producer, who would later be presented with a birthday cake [complete with candles] during the night’s main event.
When Joey Bada$$ finally makes his entrance, it’s to ‘B4.DA.$$‘ cut ‘Greenbacks’, backed amply by veteran DJ Statik Selektah. Things are shortly taken up a notch with the ominous ‘Big Dusty‘, and while latest album tracks like ‘Like Me‘, ‘Teach Me‘ [performed during an all-female stage invasion] and of course ‘No. 99‘ were rapturously received by the London crowd, fans of earlier mixtape ‘Summer Knights‘ were treated to the likes of ‘Hilary Swank‘ and ’95 Til Infinity’. Elsewhere in the set, Bada$$’ brand new collaboration with G Herbo [aka Lil Herb], Trap-inspired ‘Lord Knows‘, gets its first live spin.
What is – and always has been – great about Pro Era’s performance is that it’s a no-frills Hip Hop show first and foremost. That said, this particular tour sees them elevate their stage presence with CO2 cannisters and stage the kind of stage lighting that allows them to make the most of venues like Camden’s Roundhouse.
Aside from a few sombre moments dedicated to both the late Capital Steez and the victims of the recent tragedies in Paris respectively, there’s an air of celebration about the performance which culminates with a Maverick Sabre-assisted performance of ‘On & On’. The strength of Pro Era’s East Coast identity is evident even as far afield as little old London, aand as the tour moves on across Europe, a little piece of Beast Coast will be forever lodged firmly in Camden.
Photography by Ben Dean.