Like any truly talented performer, Tkay Maidza knows that performance is a form of dialogue. She took every possible opportunity to engage with her audience throughout her All Ages’ show at the Metro, in the process energizing not only the assembled crowd, but herself as well. To say that she knocked it out of the park is perhaps an understatement; bounding across the stage in her long white t-shirt, she gave it her all, literally buzzing with energy and life.
She encouraged the audience to bark her lyrics back at her. She chatted to them, proving to be both incredibly relaxed and good-natured. She flashed them smiles, and thanked them for being her first ever all ages gig. In short, she was a consummate professional, but more than that she was a generous and humane performer, and her audience reciprocated her kindness in droves.
Brontosaurus, a song that she introduced as ‘the one that started it all’, was perhaps the number most enthusiastically received by the crowd, but in truth every single track she performed was a success. Impromptu dance circles broke out like spot fires as Maidza’s youthful fans basked in the bassy tunes, clapping and stomping along to impressive versions of M.O.B. and Switch Lanes, the track that Maidza identified as her personal favourite from her back catalogue. Even those glued to their phones up the front were part of the experience, the sheer energy and volume stopping their devices from teleporting them out of the moment.
Maidza moved from number to number seamlessly, often without a break. ‘Anybody else hot in here?’ she asked of the crowd during one of her rare moments of stillness, before almost immediately launching into an energised rendition of U-Huh, the song that best shows off her distinctive and powerful vocal range. She even treated the audience to a few brief covers, rapping her way through a snippet of Drake’s megahit Started From The Bottom with style and aplomb.
By the time the satisfyingly lean set was done, Maidza seemed utterly elated. Rather than appearing exhausted, as anyone would rightly allow her to be, she was beaming from ear to ear, reaching out to her adoring fans and shaking the hands of as many as she could reach. She had given them everything they could have possibly wanted, and now she was giving them even more. Such generosity of spirit and imagination is exactly the kind of thing that seems ready to propel Maidza into the stratosphere, where she rightly belongs.