Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals @ Oslo Spektrum

Foto: Richard Ashton
Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals took us on a trip along the California coast and brought the warmth from Los Angeles. A night at the Beach Club came to Oslo Spektrum on Monday night.  

This is the first show in Europe for his Andy’s Beach Club World Tour 2019, which includes songs from all of their previous albums, from “Venice” to “Malibu” and “Oxnard”. On paper “Oxnard” seems impressive, with an extensive amount of collaborations enough to have an amazing festival line up. Contributors include Kadhja Bonet, Norelle, Kendrick Lamar, Sonyae Elise, Cocoa Sarai, Dr. Dre, Pusha T, Snoop Dogg, The Last Artful Dodgr, J. Cole, Q-Tip and BJ The Chicago Kid. However, after listenening to it a few times I was a bit sceptical, since none of the new songs attracted me as much as his previous records.

Eclectic Mix

.Paak is a talented and versatile musician that together with the Free Nationals move effortlessly from hip-hop and r&b to funk, soul or jazz.

But I was wrong. The songs work totally different in a live setting. Anderson .Paak is a talented and versatile musician that together with the Free Nationals move effortlessly from hip-hop and r&b to funk, soul or jazz, making an eclectic mix with rhythms from past and contemporary lyrics and flow.

The concert begins with bits of The Chase and immediately followed by Who R U?. Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals are positioned behind a giant mesh that blocks the direct view, but allows some shades through. The drum set of Anderson .Paak is placed on the centre and elevated a little bit higher than the rest of the instruments, which includes another set of drums, keyboards, trumpet, bass and guitar.

«You are beautiful people»

What energy!

After a couple of songs, the mesh is down, fire flares are up and .Paak jumps from his drums to the front of the stage, where he can move and sing around freely. What energy! For almost an hour and a half, Anderson .Paak jumped around the stage, left, right and back. From the front stage back to his drums, back and forth.

At some point he jumped on the crowd – who nearly missed him – and walk through the public almost to the end of the standing area before running back to the stage. He owns this crowd and does as he pleases  with them: “put your hands up; left; right; jump; sing along; turn on your phone lights, I love you Oslo; you are beautiful people”.

He sings Bubblin and Milk n’ Honey but it isn’t until he sings Glowed up (from his collaboration with Kaytranada) that people explodes and starts singing along, or at least attempt to do so. It is no surprise that his previous hits are the most praised. However, I feelready to hear more from his latest LP, and just like that he delivers 6 summers. The bass and trumpets in this song are amazing and reinforces my appreciation for the new material.

Smoother than a motherfucker

Anderson .Paak is an amazing musician and performer.

After almost 10 songs .Paak takes a small break behind the stage, while the Free Nationals go solo with Beauty and Essex. At this point there’s no surprise that .Paaks voice its a bit scratchy. He is been jumping around non-stop and the effort takes a small toll on his voice. But nothing serious, he is still able to to deliver his swag and funk. In his own terms: smoother than a motherfucker.

The list goes on with Tints sung along with Tayla Parx, followed by Am I Wrong and Lite y Dang. Through the last songs it is a carnival of explosions, fire flares, confetti and “fear and loathing” sort of images displayed that makes ALL the people in the standing area jump, clap and scream. Not a common spectacle on your average monday night in Oslo. After twenty songs or so he closes the concert with Dang!, while a photo of the departed Mac Miller is displayed on the back).  

Anderson .Paak is an amazing musician and performer. I doubt that there are many Hip Hop/R&B singers now a days delivering at this level, but then again he is so much more than a hip hop/R&B singer.   

Anderson .Paak @ Oslo Spektrum: 9/10



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