Review: Tinie Tempah, Newcastle Arena

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TINIE Tempah, in a word: wow.

Still fairly fresh on the music scene, and with only one album under his belt, I wondered how the London rapper would fare with his first arena tour.

I needn’t have worried, he rocked it.

Passionate, talented, charismatic, this man has it all and he put his heart and soul into this leg of his seven-city tour in front of a sell-out crowd.

Out of breath, sweat dripping from his brow, if it hadn’t been so much fun, it would have been exhausting to watch Tinie as he rapped, leaped and ran through his set list.

He’s been a regular on my iPod playlist for months, but tracks such as Frisky, Written in the Stars and Invincible sounded unbelievably better live.

However, a pared-down section in which he moved to the centre of the arena to sing Ed Sheeran’s A Team was a bit of a damp squib.

But getting back to his own songs – which are much better than Ed’s in my opinion – he soon built up the momentum again.

Clad in his signature sunglasses, he proved himself to be a first-class showman, whipping the crowd into a mass of W hand signs for Wonderman.

Miami 2 Ibiza, his collaboration with Swedish House Mafia, was also a full-throttle piece of pop magic.

Launching into Pass Out, he had the thousands in front of him in the palm of his hand, encouraging them to leap into action at his say-so.

An arena gig this may have been, but it had the intimacy of a pub gig thanks to Tinie’s interaction with the crowd.

Whether it was rambling about ex-loves or giving the security guards a hernia by running through the crowds, here was a man who made the audience a part of the show.

He seemed genuinely touched too by the support he’s had which has seen him soar to the top of the charts in 2011.

“I’m never going to stop making music,” he shouted out to the crowd.

If this is what he can achieve in just two years, the sky’s the limit for this modern-day music maestro.