Review: A$AP Rocky in Auckland

What: A$AP Rocky
When: Tuesday, June 25
Where: Logan Campbell Center, Auckland

This being the first international “hip hop” artist I’ve seen live, I went in not knowing what to expect.

A crowd of surprisingly diverse Asap Rocky fans poured into the venue in their shiny garb and baggy pants and seemed oddly content with the DJ opening the act.

One fan stole the show before it had even started leading an impromptu dance act front and centre on the balcony as those on the ground recorded and cheered as if they’d paid to see this stranger in blue.

Weirdly enough, that set the tone for the whole show.

When the rapper took the stage the entire thing felt a little bit talent-show-in-a-town-hall.

The Logan Campbell Centre often takes on that vibe for me, but a solo rapper in front of a taped together red velvet curtain was a bit of a worry.

And had his opening tracks Wassup and Purple Swag been the gist of the show this would’ve been a very different review.

But in the purple haze of the stage lights he disappeared behind the curtains and emerged with the full Asap Mob in a blaze of light and sound and the entire show exploded.

His current single Wild for the Night was the biggest hit of the show, as well as favourites like Goldie but it was his older songs that really got the crowd going as well as his Hangover 3 hit F***in’ Problems.

But Rocky himself was nothing short of captivating, dishing out personal smiles, kisses and salutes to individual crowd members.

He ran from side to side of the stage, leaned over the barriers and launched himself into a crowd surf a good handful of times.

He told off security for trying to kick out a crowd member who had been fighting, stopping the entire show to tell them to “just let him live”.

Toward the end of the show he called up crowd members to freestyle and they were surprisingly good, but it was nothing on when he called people up to dance with him through the last few songs of the set.

Girls were literally undressing themselves at the simple request of the superstar and even some of the men were desperate to get their kit off in front of the crowd.

It was every bit what you’d expect from an international hip hop artist and while some of the show was a bit hit and miss with the crowd, Rocky and the mob were in constant high energy and I’ve never seen a happier rapper in my life.

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The mob was, as always, captivating and the crowd went away hysterical and hugging as if they’d just witnessed a miracle.

Rocky closed the show with a few inspirational words and, “we are the future”.

And he is.