We attended the highly anticipated sold-out NF concert at the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on October 10, 2023. This electrifying event marked the opening date of the UK leg of NF’s Hope Tour. Motivated by our unwavering passion for music, we found ourselves in the audience at NF’s concert at the venue.
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The Venue – O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester
Arriving at the Venue
After our exhilarating arrival at the O2 Victoria Warehouse, where anticipation hung in the air like a harmonious prelude, it was time to explore the very essence of this captivating event. The venue, a crucial element in any live performance, played a significant role in shaping our experience.
What is the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester like?
As we entered the venue, the sheer scale of the O2 Victoria Warehouse surprised us. While it describes itself as a warehouse, it was a massive, open space – or at least, we assumed it was until the crowd poured in. At the entrance, a sprawling merchandise store lined the back wall. Further inside, we discovered a bustling bar area which were segmented by pillars.
Lining the pillars between the bar areas were TVs that clearly showed the stage area, which we presume allowed them to sell more tickets as people could watch from the bar area rather than crammed within the crowd. We were situated near the back, between the pillars, where we could just about see the stage – until all the cameras went up in the air, or if tall people decided to push through (there are always tall people in the way, no matter where you stand).
Unfortunately, the stage didn’t seem elevated enough, so people at the back could only, just about, watch the performance – well, unless, they watched from the TV screens which were hazy and seemed to be low definition. Viewing from the back was much better when NF performed on the back part of the stage, where the drummer was situated, as well as at the sides which also seemed to be levelled higher.
What is the capacity of the O2 Victoria Warehouse, Manchester?
Since the gig was sold out, we knew we’d be part of a massive crowd. Curious about the venue’s capacity, we discovered that the O2 Victoria Warehouse can accommodate up to 3,500 people, according to their site.
NF’s performance left us in awe. His energy on stage was unparalleled. His ability to convey intense emotions through his live renditions of songs was nothing short of breathtaking. And when you add the incredible atmosphere of 3,500 fans singing and rapping along to every single lyric, the event transcended into something out of this world. We couldn’t help but wonder if this remarkable atmosphere was a consistent feature of all his shows – we’re pretty sure it is.
The Diversity of NF’s Audience
What truly warmed our hearts was the diversity of the audience at the concert. While the rap genre is often associated with a particular demographic, NF’s lyrics resonate with a wide range of people. This became evident as we looked around the venue. People from various walks of life, all under one roof, singing and rapping along to every word, created a powerful emotional connection. NF’s lyrics are deeply moving, and they manage to touch the hearts of his diverse fanbase in a profound way.
Standout Songs and Performance
NF didn’t disappoint; each song was delivered to perfection. Whether it was hitting every rap note, nailing rap lyrics, or impressing with his chorus vocals, he exhibited a level of skill that was hard to fault. What set him apart even further were his rapid rap flows in certain songs, which left us in admiration. Additionally, NF knew how to work the crowd masterfully. At one point, he even halted a song, demanding the audience to sing louder, and after their enthusiastic response, he restarted to a rapturous audience.
Notable Songs and Emotional Impact
Some songs stood out with exceptional emotional impact, such as “Time”, which struck a deep chord, and the opening track, “Hope”. The latter track was used to build up the audience starting off with a pre-recorded version of the intro, with NF waiting for the first verse so he could begin with the thought-provoking line, “What’s my definition of success?” – a line that resonated even more when delivered live. The entire audience embraced NF’s lyrics with fervor. While some songs garnered a greater response from the audience than others, it was the unifying effect of the music that made this night unforgettable.
Resonating with NF’s Songs
The concert continued with some epic tracks that showcased NF’s musical prowess. Songs like “Motto”, “Leave Me Alone”, “Happy”, and “Running” made significant statements throughout the night. However, it was when NF performed “Let You Down” that the crowd went into a frenzy. The chorus had a magnetic pull that drew everyone in.
“Let You Down”: A Tale of Two Verses and Choruses
Yet, there was a noticeable difference between the verses and the choruses of this hit song. Although the majority of the 3,600 people in attendance knew every word of the chorus, about two-thirds of them seemed familiar with the rap verses. This disparity in familiarity led to a slight difference in volume during the performance.
In contrast, other songs like “Hope”, “Happy”, and “Mama” created a larger and more unified atmosphere. Even if only two-thirds of the audience knew all the lyrics, there wasn’t a noticeable discrepancy in participation. Perhaps this is why “Let You Down” was strategically placed in the middle of the set, rather than the end, deviating from the conventional approach of saving the biggest hit for last.
The Power of “When I Grow Up”
While NF managed to make every song stand out for all the right reasons, one track that truly left an indelible impression was “When I Grow Up”. His unfiltered delivery and the electric atmosphere generated by the audience contributed to the song’s impact. What truly sold it was NF’s rapid raps. The flow was more than just nice; it was faultless, flawless, and superb. NF did not miss a beat as he effortlessly showcased his full artistic talent, rapping so quickly that typically many fans struggle to keep up yet, right there in the venue, the crowd didn’t miss a beat either.
The Message of “When I Grow Up”
Emotional and coming straight from the heart, “When I Grow Up” is undoubtedly the must-hear NF track on any of his tour dates. Those who left after hearing “Let You Down” missed out on one extraordinary treat. It’s worth noting that some attendees, after experiencing NF’s biggest hit, chose to leave. These departures left one considering that it’s rude to leave after the hit single, as well as wondering that it’s rude of them to buy tickets when there’s NF fans who know every word to his latest songs but weren’t able to get tickets, who would have cherished the chance to be part of the audience.
NF’s Closing Choices
NF wrapped up his set without an encore – and let’s be honest, who really likes encores anyway? Instead, he chose to conclude with the title track from his mixtape, “Clouds”. This selection was engaging and heartfelt, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.
Sounds We Craved: The Absentees
However, some fans, including us, were left with a sense of longing. Given that it was “The Hope Tour”, one might have expected to hear the entire “Hope” album covered. While nine out of the 13 tracks were performed, we couldn’t help but notice the absence of “Bullet”, “Turn My Back”, “Mistake”, and “Let Em Pray.”
A Bittersweet Note: “Bullet” and “Story”
The absence of just four tracks might not seem significant, but when one of them, in this case, “Bullet”, carries deep emotional weight, its omission left us feeling like we missed out on an incredible performance. The poignant and heartfelt nature of “Bullet” made it a notable loss.
Additionally, the absence of “Story”, a track with somewhat political themes related to gun crime, surprised us, as we expected it to feature in the setlist. The track is unique as NF tells a story, a narrative story, lyric by lyric which is later shown in a music video, following every lyric down to a tee – maybe one day it’ll be included in the setlist, although it seems unlikely.
Conclusion: NF’s Ever-Growing Influence
A Night to Remember: NF’s Enduring Resonance
As the final notes of NF’s Hope Tour reverberated through the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, one thing became abundantly clear: this was a night to remember. NF’s performance, filled with raw emotion and unwavering energy, left an indelible mark on the audience. While rap music may have its stereotypes, NF defies them, drawing a diverse crowd that connects with his lyrics on a profound level.
NF’s lyrical masterpieces delve into the depths of mental health, family, and life’s struggles, resonating with a broad spectrum of listeners. In this singular concert, we witnessed people from various walks of life united under the spell of his words. It’s a testament to the power of music to transcend boundaries, and NF’s unique ability to touch the hearts of many, regardless of their musical preferences.
From Hope to Success: NF’s Musical Odyssey
NF’s latest album, “Hope”, soared to number two on the UK Official Albums Chart, a testament to his growing influence in the music industry. With each new release, he continues to build a larger fanbase, and the lead single’s appearance on the UK Official Singles Chart at number 48 demonstrates his chart presence. Anticipating his next era, it’s easy to envision him claiming the number one spot on the album chart and hitting the top 40 of the singles chart achieving even greater success.
We eagerly await the next chapter in NF’s career, watching as he continues to ascend in the music world. While we may not have the means to attend every date on this UK tour (we wish), rest assured, we’ll be among the first to secure tickets for the next tour. NF is an artist not to be missed, and his music speaks to the hearts of many, making it a privilege to witness his live performances.
A Brilliant Night of Music and Emotion: Conclusion
In conclusion, NF’s performance at the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester was nothing short of phenomenal. It was more than just a musical event, it was a night of raw emotion and resonant lyrics that transcended the boundaries of rap. NF’s connection with the audience, the relatability of his lyrics, and the electric atmosphere all contributed to a brilliant night of music. This gig was a testament to NF’s artistic integrity, a reflection of his genuine commitment to making music that resonates.
The power of music, especially when it addresses profound themes like mental health and family, is what makes NF’s performance so impactful. It’s a reminder that music has the potential to bring people from diverse backgrounds together and create a shared experience that lingers in memory long after the final performance. We look forward to following NF’s career as it continues to soar, and we remain eager to witness more of his unforgettable live performances in the future.
What’s the setlist for NF’s UK leg of The Hope Tour?
Here is the setlist for NF’s “The Hope Tour”:
- Careful (feat. Cordae)
- The Search
- Leave Me Alone
- My Stress
- Paid My Dues
- Hate Myself
- Let You Down.
- Gone (feat. Julia Michaels)
- When I Grow Up
The remaining dates of NF’s Hope Tour:
The UK leg of NF’s Hope Tour is nearing its conclusion, with only two dates left to catch his electrifying performance. Tonight, he’ll be taking the stage at The Great Hall, Cardiff Uni Students Union in Cardiff, and the tour culminates at the Eventim Apollo in London on October 15. After captivating the UK, NF is set to embark on an international journey. In November, he’ll be part of the “Corona Capital 2023” festival in Mexico.
Looking ahead to 2024, NF’s musical odyssey continues with the Hope Tour, commencing in Australia and New Zealand in February. By May 2024, he’ll be revisiting the US, reaching an additional seven states that he missed during the 2023 US Hope Tour, which covered 22 states and six territories of Canada. He’s also set to make triumphant returns to six US states, only this time in different cities, promising fans an unforgettable experience across the globe.
Tickets have gone on sale for the 2024 Hope Tour and can be bought through NF’s official website – that’s if they aren’t already sold out by now. Reseller tickets are available for all the dates – we advise you to only buy from reputable reseller sites.
Here are the rest of NF’s Hope Tour dates:
- October 14 – The Great Hall, Cardiff Uni Students Union, Cardiff, UK
- October 15 – Eventim Apollo, London, UK
- November 19 – Corona Capital 2023 festival, Mexico City, Mexico
- February 02 – HBF Stadium, Mount Claremont, Australia
- February 04 – John Cain Arena, Melbourne, Australia
- February 07 – Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia
- February 09 – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, Australia
- February 11 – Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand
- May 08 – Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
- May 10 – T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, MO
- May 11 – Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
- May 12 – Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, MO
- May 14 – Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, MI
- May 15 – PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
- May 16 – Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
- May 18 – Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
- May 19 – CFG Bank Arena, Baltimore, MD
- May 21 – Giant Center, Hershey, PA
- May 22 – PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
- May 24 – Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
- May 25 – Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise, FL
- May 26 – VyStar Vetarans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
- May 28 – Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC
- May 29 – Legacy Arena, Birmingham, AL
- May 31 – Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK
- Jun 01 – American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
- Jun 02 – Moody Center, Austin, TX
- Jun 06 – Viejas Arena, San Diego, CA
- Jun 07 – Kia Forum, Inglewood, CA
- Jun 08 – Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
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