After the ticket mayhem and agonizing wait, the night had finally arrived… J Cole was finally in Perth.
Arriving at HBF Stadium on a warm Saturday night, from the second we walked in, the venue was already packed with buzzing elation.
The mood ramped up even more as Earthgang, the first support, bounced on stage with their crazy fluorescent outfits hyping up the crowd and setting the scene just right for the night.
Then it wasn’t long before J.I.D came on and then BAS, the crowd sang and bopped along to most of their hits you would almost think that they were the main act.
After a slight wait, which felt like forever (probably due to the growing excitement) then there was a zap and everyone’s phone lights filled the intimate stadium, the prison gates opened and Cole stepped out to a roaring eruption of noise.
Wearing bright orange overalls with ‘Prisoner of the Public’ written on the back, Cole opened with a more mellow tune, For Whom the Bells Toll.
Then everything turned up a notch with Immortal, and not once did the momentum of the crowd falter throughout the night as everyone religiously sang every word of each song.
Cole worked the stage (designed as a prison exercise yard) always making you feel like you were close to him, constantly pacing each side, making you feel as if he was directly speaking to you.
There were many ‘yessss’s’ and ‘ahhh’s’ as Cole dropped some sweet old school vibes from his ‘Forest Hills Drive’ days, like the nostalgic Wet Dreamz, Work Out and the sprightly G.O.M.D, to name only a very few.
Love Yourz was a notable favourite and just beautiful live, personally I think it sounded even better live than recorded. With everyone’s phone lighters in the air, the atmosphere was unforgettable magic.
The whole stadium went nuts as soon as Forbidden Fruits drowned out and slowed to reveal Neighbours, as soon as the drop hit the rest was history.
But for Cole, the concert was an opportunity to educate and inspire, as he told the story behind ‘Neighbours’, humorously showing the CCTV footage of a SWAT team invading his home thinking he had weed at the property, well that is according to his neighbours.
Cole also interjected at times in Ville Mentality to talk about the pros and cons of the ‘live for the moment’ mentality, urging everyone to just for tonight, live in the moment.
After Power Trip the lights dimmed and Cole disappeared from the stage so suddenly and everyone immediately chanted “encore”.
Then Cole appeared along with his entourage telling the crowd with a wry smile, “we can’t leave without doing this shit, crazy.”
As everyone’s fingers went into the air one final time at Cole’s command, there was silence and then No Role Modelz dropped and there were screams from everywhere.
No Role Modelz live was another level, with Cole’s crew bouncing around on stage with him in celebration of their last show ended the night on an absolute high.
But as soon as the song finished, Cole did his final farewell and vanished behind the metal bars of his prison in the blink of an eye.
Although it all went by so fast, this was by far one of the most energetic and fun concerts I have attended in a long time.