I’ve never witnessed a crowd as crazy as Aitch’s fans. Hearing screams, predominantly the crowd being females, was unheard of. On Thursday night, 20th October 2022, the anticipation of waiting for Aitch to show up on stage was incredibly difficult for the fans, holding back their excitement, especially for the girls. The O2 academy was overflowing with immense amounts of energy, when DJ Bankz stirred up the energy in the room, with the crowd loosening up, from beat to beat, Dj Bankz only fuelled more excitement playing hit song after hit song. The coloured smoke bursting out from the stage, only created the perfect atmosphere leading up to Aitch making his appearance on stage two hours later.
Supporting Aitch with his new album Close To Home, was rising Manchester star, Tays. He had a cheeky eye as he said in a flirtatious manner, ‘There’s bare girls in the crowd tonight’, the audience went wild and couldn’t stop screaming. After a few songs, the talented star made an announcement, giving the audience a chance to listen to his new single What’s On Your’s for the first time, prior to the release date being the following day. The mood swiftly changed, slowly and beautifully as the acoustic sound started playing, the song has an emotional and heart-warming feel, from the lyrics and the instrument, and I was impressed by the song and how touching it was; it is the perfect song for heart break. This 17-year-old heart throb has a bright future, being so young and this successful, he’s already become a star and is becoming a well-known face for the younger generation in the music industry.
DJ Bankz propelled the anticipation further as the clock ticked by, the crowd was dancing and cheering, the lights got dimmer, and the buzz just got even higher. People’s hearts were racing at this point, and DJ Win was jumping on stage, shouting ‘Bournemouth scream!’ at the crowd as smoke further shot out into the air at a faster rate. DJ Win accelerated the energy with song Clash by Dave ft. Stormzy and just before, he controlled the tempo and emotions by playing Wonderwall by Oasis; the thrill was both crazy and touching. Aitch was teasing the audience at this point saying ‘Bournemouth’, in a slow and humorous way, as he was behind the curtains. Hearing his Manchester accent and his voice despite not seeing him yet, the fans couldn’t hold back at this point.
He came on, and the sparks physically from the smoke and from the crowd were electrifying. He grabbed the attention of the fans with a bang, immediately with his opening song Taste, as he was moving on stage smirking at the ladies and smiling at the fans. The red lighting, and mood started getting more intense as he played his popular single Buss Down along with other popular Aitch singles, like Louis Vuitton and my favourite one Safe to Say. Until eventually the mood changed, as his younger self was shown on the screen with flickering images of the early days in his music career. Soon, he spoke to the audience as he asked the crowd ‘Who is a number one Aitch fan?’, they replied back, screaming ‘me’, and he tested them with ‘What’s my middle name?’ and ‘Where am I from?’. I screamed ‘Manchester’!’ as I also got involved. He’s very smart with the way he connects with his fans, taking control and power to keep the show going and entertained.
This was then leading onto a beautiful moment on stage as he performed Close To Home ft. Kids Choir playing in the background screen in black and white; this was an incredibly moving moment of the entire show. The detail of a church image, largely displayed in the backing screen as the vocals of the children choir started playing, with darker lighting, created an enlightening ambiance. The deep and meaningful lyrics allowed Aitch to truly open about his personal life outside of money and fame, as his lyrics reflected his family and pain. His recent single My G ft. Ed Sheeran, was played, a song dedicated to Aitch’s younger sister, Gracie, who had suffered with down-syndrome and sadly passed away. The spotlights turned on and he sat on a chair in the middle of the stage faced with his back showing, as the backdrop displayed his album cover design of a house, representing Close To Home. The simple, yet such powerful imagery of a line drawing of home, resonates on a deeper level with his fans and himself; by his team and himself wearing a hoodie with the Close To Home design, shows solidarity to him and support towards children with autism. This was a tearing moment, and truly reflected his heart, beyond the surface level of majority of what his music portrays him to be.
Not long after, the energy picked up, with him performing his hit single Rain as confetti dripped down, and the bass got louder, the crowd got wilder, and the lighting flashed quicker. Is there anything Aitch can’t do? There was an explicit and iconic moment where a fan took her underwear off and threw it on stage. Aitch, being the cheeky character he is, he picked it up and looked at it and pretending to put it in his mouth. The atmosphere got steamy and sexual energy grew on Aitch and the audience when someone requested him to take his top off. He made a deal and said: ‘This next song I play yeah, I’m spitting minimal lyrics, you lot need to sing it for me. If you can do that, I’ll take it off.’. Then, of course, his recent hit single Baby played, and this was the moment the girls had all been waiting for. As he spoke his lyrics ‘You know I got it baby’ and the audience replied to the mic, ‘what do you want’, the engagement was both playful and interacting as Aitch turned the mic to the crowd, allowing them to sing it with him. The show ended on an upbeat note, the venue went from closely packed to the crowd left at awe as they dropped their empty drinks on the floor and made their way home. Absolutely wild. What a roller coaster of emotions.
Catch Aitch on tour currently around the UK right now throughout October 2022!