It seems like everyone has a different opinion on provocative Australian hip-hop star Iggy Azalea. Some think she brings a unique voice to the genre, while others doubt her authenticity.
However, at the Ryan Center on Saturday, those in attendance were enthralled by Azalea’s natural talent as a performing act, regardless of their opinion on her actual music.
Azalea played to an enthusiastic and highly receptive crowd as she performed songs from her recently released debut album “The New Classic.”
The show was opened by a set from Azalea’s disk jockey, DJ Wizz Kidd, who played a selection of recent dance and hip-hop hits.
Azalea arrived on stage shortly after 9 p.m., with dancers and backing vocalists in tow. The concert began with a performance of “Fuck Love,” before proceeding to songs, “Bounce” and “Rolex.”
On stage, Azalea was illuminated by purple and teal lights, with a staircase in the background that was utilized by her dancers. Her dancers’ movements were occasionally suggestive but never overboard.
Following a performance of “Change Your Life,” Azalea departed from the stage as a lengthy audio snippet from the 1992 film “Boomerang” was played. The dialogue provided a segue into a performance of “Pussy,” a song from an early mixtape often considered to be Azalea’s breakthrough.
After several other album tracks, Azalea performed her guest verses from T.I.’s “No Mediocre” and Ariana Grande’s “Problem” back-to-back, eliciting a highly positive response from the crowd.
“Black Widow,” Azalea’s most recent single, followed the medley in the set list. The song’s chorus was one of many sing-along moments for the crowd.
While there are many valid criticisms against Azalea as an artist, her stage presence cannot be questioned. In front a live audience, she is energetic and much can be made about her delivery.
Her backing singers did a decent job replacing guest vocalists where needed. However, much of the appeal of “Fancy” comes from Charli XCX and they simply could not match her level.
The reception “Black Widow” received was only matched by the highly anticipated performance of Azalea’s summer hit single “Fancy.” The song was the final number in Azalea’s set, and the crowd loudly cheered as its opening bars played over the PA. The song’s chorus and bridge, were sung with enthusiasm by the audience and continued as Azalea bid goodnight to the Ryan Center.
The Ryan Center was packed with one of its largest audiences in recent memory, filled with diehards that held on Azalea’s every word. The crowd was especially responsive to Azalea’s stage presence and her dancers’ performances.
Attendees were noticeably younger than the average event at the arena. Although Iggy’s material isn’t X-rated, it is certainly a concert that parents should have researched before bringing their pre-teen children.
The next concert at the Ryan Center, scheduled for Oct. 8, is headlined by hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper. It will be followed by country singer Hunter Hayes on Nov. 1 and a comedy show featuring “Late Night” host Seth Meyers on Nov. 8.