Re:imagine took on the bold task of reinterpreting Kanye’s 2010 masterpiece ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’. Kanye was revolutionary in his approach to hip-hop, and these orchestras are following suit. In the same way Kanye brought hip-hop into a new age, Re:imagine is doing the so with live music.
I am a big fan of both classical and hip-hop but seeing either style live can come with a hefty price tag. It would seem now, however, that the collaboration of the two allows your pockets to stay a little more lined.
The one and a half hour show (including a mojito pause, aka an interval) was held at London’s XOYO. The venue is easy to get to, often has an impressive line-up and is a great size for an event like this. The show was held in the basement, a versatile space that has the potential to feel intimate enough for a gig, yet also has the ability to become anonymous for a club night.
Re:imagine consists of a 16 piece orchestra, two male and one female vocalist. I will mention here quickly that one of the rappers sounded EXACTLY like Jay-Z - I even moved closer to check at one point it wasn’t him, and once the Jay-Z free venue was confirmed, I could focus.
The band knew how to excite the crowd by playing the bangers and at the right time. ‘Monster’, ‘Power’, ‘All of the lights’, ‘Runaway’ and ‘Blame Game’ to name my favourites all got a light show suited to their tempo, and there was also a sweet homage to Kanye in the form of a projection. The crowd was diverse and everyone was equally hyped. You had everyone from the businessman who has undone his top button to turn up, to Sharon who works in HR two-stepping in her blouse to the ‘Yeezy’ clad fashion conscious devoted fan filming the whole thing.
As much as I wished the band would focus more on the music than the melody, their execution made the performance more inclusive for everyone in the room. You would be surprised at how many people know every word to Nicky’s rap in ‘Monster’…
I would recommend this event for a mid week switch up. Maybe you want to see some Kanye inspired music and didn’t get tickets last time he was touring. Perhaps you want to bag a few extra cool points by telling your friends you went to see an orchestra play hip-hop. Or maybe you’re motivated by the good old fashioned reason of just trying something new.
The photo is courtesy of Justin de Souza and was taken at a previous Re:imagine event