As Brits we can be pretty subdued when it comes to concerts. Standing back swaying slightly and giving an in time nod when it comes to the tracks we love. Letting go isn't always our thing. Do we even know what that is? With Mercury Prize and Brit nominated Plan B touring the UK, it's been a big year for one of East London's finest game changers.
Calling in support from chart toppers Rudimental and super producer and steadfast performer Labrinth, The O2 prepared for a night of solid UK music. It's been an incredible year for Rudimental with 'Feel The Love' topping the charts across the globe and 'Not Giving In' standing strong as their second single. Seeing them live is essential.
With Labrinth rising through the ranks, he has grown not only in his social media following but as a performer too. After his track with Emeli Sande reaching the much sought after Number 1 spot it seems that the super human musician is finally getting the recognition he so rightly deserves. Hitting the crowd with explosive anthems 'Let The Sunshine', 'Pass Out' and legendary 'Earthquake' Lab jumped across the stage grabbing his electronic guitar securing just why we rate him as an artist.
As the stage lit up with Plan B's 'Defamation of Strickland Banks' shining across the cine-screens behind him, Ben Drew and his band appear. Dapper, on point and vocally clear there are very few who touch him as a performer. Seeing an artist live can either make or break you as a fan. It either secures the reason you knew you loved their music or it totally breaks your heart. Plan B did both but for incredible reasons. Watching the phases of his life drawn out across the screens that covered the stage as he performed stand out tracks from his albums. His soul laid bare. You saw the highs alongside the lows and the very real talent not only of a singer but a rapper, producer and world-class filmmaker.
Plan B is a role model for the new generation. An artist who is not only here for the music but also here to create change. As he moved on to 'Ill Manors' things shifted in a different direction. An album not holding back and a film hitting every single raw message it set out to convey. Consciously fuelled by his inner passion to make a difference and speak out about the things he believes needs to change in our society. Not only as a stand-alone piece of work but also as a movement. Hearing news of Plan B's 'Each One Teach One' campaign spoken about in his recent TED talk and the brand new ELAM 2014 music school he is helping to create in East London, Plan B is a man of his word.
As he bought on some of his inner circle, it's clear to see just why this album has made the impact he hoped for. Kano, Labrinth, Etta Bond and Chase & Status front man Rage all helped turn the sophisticated and chilled out crowd into a scene of total bedlam. Finally giving in to the high-octane addictive energy the stage gave out, the crowd went wild. Mosh pits started across the arena. Cosied up couples in the seating area were bought to their feet as 'Ill Manors' finest tracks rung out across every inch of The O2. The crowd finally letting go of their dignity and pent up beliefs and getting fully involved with Plan B's crew. With one of the sharpest bands in the scene, it's clear to see that each of them are starting to become artists in their own right. Beat boxer genius Faith SFX and New Machine both showing that they have what it takes to command the crowd on a worldwide stage.
Stepping out of the madness for the sharpest second the power that the music industry has on the people that listen was beautifully obvious. When the message is clear and the artist comes from a good place within themselves, they speak to people on a level like no other. Maybe our very own musicians could be the politicians of tomorrow. I'm sure that Plan B's legacy will be creating tidal waves for years to come. Total Respect.