Lupe Fiasco Live at The Palace Theatre
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Lupe Fiasco Live at The Palace Theatre

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Have no fear, Lupe Fiasco is a superstar. The world of American hip-hop is currently dominated by large profile/larger ego heavyweights Jay Z and Kanye West, but as far as natural talent and onstage charisma go, Lupe gets my vote.

Have no fear, Lupe Fiasco is a superstar. The world of American hip-hop is currently dominated by large profile/larger ego heavyweights Jay Z and Kanye West, but as far as natural talent and onstage charisma go, Lupe gets my vote.

The night opened with local crew Diafrix who, quite frankly, blew me away. The infectious five-piece consisted of frontmen Momo and Azmarino, a pair of DJs and a token white guitarist. The African-influenced soul and funked-up electric riffs were the perfect backing to the duo’s impressive dialect and old school, Jurassic 5-style beats. I encourage anyone who says they like hip-hop but discount Australian hip-hop to check them out.

A wall of flood lights lit the room as Fiasco’s backing band launched into a catchy instrumental opening. After Lupe emerged, they performed two new songs: Shining Down and Solar Midnite. Both were unusual choices considering that they didn’t even make the final cut of the album he was promoting. But judging by songs that will actually feature on the upcoming album Lasers – including the fantastic State Run Radio , Beautiful Lasers and Words I Never Said – it should be amazing.

The mix of old and new kept everyone happy, with The Instrumental and I Gotcha from his debut album Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor as two personal favourites. A remix of N.E.R.D’s Everybody Nose was an unexpected highlight, as was the fast-pace of Go Go Gadget Flow and a capella finish to Hip Hop Saved My Life.

Kick, Push was the first big-hit to receive a deafening reaction from the crowd, and the response was doubled as he carried-out the set with Superstar.

Lupe Fiasco may be classified as hip hop, but he performs like a rock star. He returned for the encore and worked us up for new song The Show Goes On, before upping the ante with Paris, Tokyo from his previous album The Cool.

He ended the night with the crowd-pleasing Daydreamin’, sending the females crazy as he ripped-off his singlet during the chorus. He thanked the band and crowd during an extended piano outro and as he left the crowd erupted in unison, stamping and shouting "Lupe! Lupe!"

It’s already been a massive start to the year, with some of the biggest international names hitting our shores, but Lupe Fiasco tops the list so far.

Loved: Lupe and the band pause to leave a sell-out crowd chanting the closing chorus of Superstar.

Hated: Waking up hung-over the next morning for a 9am dentist appointment.

Drank: Tequila shots upon entry, which sat burning my stomach through the entire gig.