Attention-grabbing New York MC Azealia Banks is never one to shy away from controversy. She’s made so many contentious claims over the years, you sometimes forget she’s actually an artist and not a shock jock. Last night’s show at Irving Plaza in New York City was a refreshing reminder of the former.
To say the crowd was eclectic is an understatement. Only a couple blocks away from Union Square, the Broke with Expensive Taste MC pulled in a social smorgasbord of bouncy NYU girls, rave-ready men and a few twenty-something’s who just clocked out of corporate America. Though Irving Plaza is not NYC’s largest venue, the place was packed out to the hallways with more people flooding in just as Azealia’s DJ took the stage.
As if answering the beckoning bass and “Zea-li-a” chants from the crowd, Miss Bank$ skipped on stage with her male and female back up dancers and went straight into spitting at 9 p.m.
Jumping all over the stage and all over her music catalog, the 23-year-old was perfectly at home swangin’ her signature waist length weave, dancing during the Bachata section of “Gimme A Chance,” and remixing old fan favorites like “Licorice,” “1991” and “ATM Jam.” Though she didn’t have to use much of her breathe on the lyrics (it seemed everyone on the floor knew even her most tongue-twisting verses word for word), Banks pulled out a megaphone during the chorus of her BWET lead single “Yung Rapunxel” to make sure she got her point across. And it worked.
Once members of the crowd posted on Instagram and put down their phones to actually enjoy the moment, a dance-off ensued by the back bar and when Banks went into the live version of her current single, “Ice Princess,” the place erupted into a full on party. One highlight was the night was during her performance of "Miss Amor." Midway into the song she stopped and turned to a group of five concertgoers who were about to fight. "You better stop fighting or I'm kicking you the fuck out" scream Banks. After the individuals got embarrassed, she continued on to perform.