Review: D Block Europe Shine At Their Third Sold Out O2 Arena Show This Year
16 Nov 2022
The meteoric rise of D Block Europe is undeniable, and the duo have steadily established their name as one of the most highly respected and credible groups that have come out of the UK industry in the last decade. Hailing from Lewisham, Young Adz and Dirtbike LB showcase an autotune wave sound that explores the fine borders between both the British rap scene and the American rap scene, and having collaborated with some of the biggest artists in the scene such as Dave, Offset and Central Cee, the duo exhibit a discography so expansive that they can easily say they possess a track for every occasion. Numbers don’t lie; 4 million monthly listeners, 100s of millions of streams – DBE are firmly within the public interest, and with almost 800,000 of their monthly listeners being located in London, there is no where better to perform.
Last year D Block Europe sold out The o2 Arena in Greenwich, London – and last week, the duo came back to finalise unfinished business. Selling out another two dates at the ever famous venue, performing to more than 40,000 people over the two days, we had the privilege of attending the closing London show last Friday, and here’s what happened inside…
To begin with, The O2 Arena is the perfect venue for an event like this; atmospheric, encapsulating and historic. Warming up the crowd before the main event was the man himself Kenny Allstar, who played an enthralling mix of some of the greatest rap joints to come out of the UK in recent years, from Giggs to K Trap, AM Skengdo to Dave – the set lifted the crowd and energised them for the next hour and a half. Shortly after 9pm, the star studded lights went dim and the curtain that covered the whole stage dropped. D Block Europe stood tall on a huge stage surrounded by a sea bed of camera flashes, coming out to a prolonged intro of ‘If I Ruled The World’, sung along to harmoniously by not only the standing crowd, but also the seated crowd wrapping around both the stage and the GA crowd below.
One of the most jam packed and diverse set lists I’ve seen performed at a concert before, the duo performed some of their biggest hits to date including Darling, Overseas, She’s Not Anyone and Desire, alongside other fan favourites such as ‘Man In The Mirror’, ‘Bankroll’ and ‘Conor McGregor’. Young Adz and Dirtbike LB filled up the room with their effortless stage presence and showmanship, alongside a theatrical set design including back up dancers, a live band and pyrotechnics that charged up the room atmospherically.
All of the standing audience set the tone for the rest of the crowd, throwing their arms into the air and gesticulating lyrics at every opportunity – an action that hand in hand with Young Adz’ and LB’s energy and aura was easily reciprocated amongst the whole room very quickly. A guest performance from Aitch for ‘UFO’ sparked the goers into an energetic screaming frenzy, and a touching tribute to Takeoff showcased the pinnacle of moral goodwill at the other end of the spectrum, emphasising the sadness of the tragic loss of their good friend and collaborator.
The fans definitely got what they paid for; half an hour of Kenny Allstar followed by an extended DBE set that lasted around 90 minutes. What D Block Europe have achieved since emerging properly on the scene in 2016 is nothing short of remarkable. They have captivated a whole new audience as well as influenced a whole new wave genre that is now coming out of the UK, heightening the globalisation of the UK rap scene. It’s only right we pay homage to a duo that at times have been taken for granted; their contribution will be reflected on as pivotal in the future without a doubt, and with Adz saying at the show there is only three more years of DBE, we really need to appreciate the time we have left with them releasing music. Leaving the venue with an ecstatic and satisfied feeling mutually reciprocated amongst everyone I spoke to, D Block Europe truly did shine on their third sold out O2 Arena show in London.
Listen to D Block Europe’s new album below :