Bakar Lights Up Hammersmith Apollo For Homecoming London ‘Halo Tour’ Dates

Harvey Marwood

By Harvey Marwood

Harvey Marwood

29 Nov 2023

One of the most critically acclaimed artists within the music industry today, British artist Bakar is a musician who has found himself high regarded within the public eye over the last few years, striking up an undeniably huge fanbase cultivating from some of his biggest tracks including ‘Hell N’ Back’, ‘Big Dreams’ and ‘Alive’. Known best for his experimental indie rock style, the 29 year old Camden native is now subject to more than 7.8 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone, and with a discography stretching back six years, has accumulated more than 500 million streams on the same platform alone. The last two nights saw Bakar embark on two London dates for the final UK leg of his ‘Halo’ tour, which has already visited 9 counties for instantly sold out shows. Touching down in London for night one of his two sold out dates at the Hammersmith Apollo on Monday evening, Bakar truly shone and proved why he is one of the best in his field, and here’s what went down inside…

One date listed for the Hammersmith Apollo found itself selling out almost instantaneously, making it only right a second date was added to keep up with the phenomenal demand. With Tendai and Ekkstacy opening up for Bakar, the crowds had already gathered early with a queue building up hours before the doors had even opened, with all the reason in the world to do so with such a strong supporting lineup.

Shortly after 9:30, Bakar took the stage in artistically creative fashion. Forming a silhouette behind a circular white light resembling the moon, the introductory track, ‘1 In 1 Out’, was nothing short of captivating. It’s evident that careful thought had gone behind the stage production for the opening, and it’s safe to say it was executed perfectly. With the circular screen in front of the Camden native slowly rising to reveal Bakar himself sat on a stool, the build up for the first track allowed the tension and anticipation throughout the audience form into tangiblity; Bakar was unveiled to the venue and took to the front of the stage.

Performing a huge setlist consisting of 24 tracks, it’s safe to say that every fan that paid for a ticket got their money’s worth with the set spanning just over an hour and a half. Undeniably a complete and whole performer, Bakar took his raw vocals to different audible perceptions on night one at the Apollo. No band, no backing vocals, just one man and his microphone, the 29 year old relied on just his sole capabilities to carry the show – a true showman. Standout performances for ‘All In’, ‘Stop Selling Her Drugs’ and ‘The Mission’ in the first half of the set left not only myself but the five thousand plus people within the venue in awe.

Combining showmanship with emotional connection, Bakar’s interconnectedness with the audience felt passionate and resonate – collectively the audience felt like one and thousands of people participating in a ‘call and response’ esque process throughout the show created a perfect atmosphere. The talent to control vocals whilst also charging up a crowd is second to none; the indie rock feel to the instrumental backdrops rocked the venue with bass and drums, whilst Bakar harmonised beautifully at times throughout the evening.

Closing off the show with a mini encore, Bakar played some notably some of his best tracks from over the years. Playing ‘Alive’ and ‘Small Town Girl’, Bakar told the crowd he was almost at curfew but rhetorically asked the crowd if there’s time for one more. The melodic chimes from ‘Hell N Back’ began to play and that truly send the crowd into an atmospheric frenzy. Many times, I’ve asked musicians in interviews ‘Was there a point in which you feel you made it as an artist?’. If Bakar hadn’t already experienced one of these moments, this easily could have been the one. One of those truly surreal moments even as an audience member, the collective roar of the ‘Hell N Back’ lyrics was everything that defines the beauty in live music.

Coming off the stage and then returning for a final encore with one of the first tracks that helped shoot Bakar to fame in ‘Big Dreams’, 2017 travelled to 2023 as the six year journey for the 29 year old came to life for one final track. And with that, an incredible evening of live music came to a conclusion. Fulfilling, wholesome and complete. Bakar’s Halo Tour was nothing short of a pleasure to experience, and the evening was testament to the craft elevation and growth he has foreseen over the past 6 years. What separates a musician from an artist is someone who can not only portray emotion in recorded masters, but also project it on a wider scale live and in person. Bakar thrives in the public eye, thrives with an audience and thrives on the ability to be creatively free. One of the most talented artists the country has on offer, Bakar is everything that is great about the UK music scene and one should never pass up on the opportunity to see him live.

Rating 4.5/5