Leicester’s “Local MVP” returns home: Sainte’s Vacation tour @ O2 Academy
Tuesday, 7th February saw Leicester’s very own rap prodigy, Sainté, at the campus-based O2 Academy on the homecoming leg of the Vacation tour, for his latest album of the same name.
Sainté has been on the rise in the UK rap scene since his debut single first came out in 2019. His breakthrough, though, came with his debut EP, Local MVP, in 2021. It would make sense for his return home to be something special – and it was.
The concert featured guest artist, LEN, who has been on the road with Sainté for this tour. He performed as the opener and really set the tone for the rest of the event through his intense stage presence and connection with the audience.
The dark blue lighting that drenched the audience faded to white as the intro to “Arrogant” played. As Sainté appeared on stage, the energy that filled the room was almost contagious. He slowly transitioned into his more popular songs like “Reference”and “On Me”, with the audience louder than ever with each song.
The middle of his setlist included songs from Out the Blue – an album that gained him fans from artists such as Miraa May and Knucks. His performance of “Azure” really showcased his versatility as an artist, especially when he sings Tay Iwar’s verse. The atmosphere quickly switched to a more soulful and mellow vibe, and he talked about love in “Soul Mate”. He also played an unreleased song for his hometown fans, to show how grateful he was to be up there performing.
After a few songs, he returns back to Vacation, when he performs “Valentine”. The song samples “No Love”, which has an infamously infectious melody, after which he transitions into the song. Throughout his set, the energy from both his team – his hypeman and his DJ – and the audience was something very unique to this specific location.
Towards the end of his set, he thanked the audience and spokeabout his hometown. He also thanked his parents for being there and ended the night with an iconic performance of “Just Wanna Rock” by Lil Uzi Vert. For someone who rose to fame at the early age of twenty-one, Sainté’s humble demeanour comes through when he speaks to his fans.
Overall, the concert was very special to everyone that attended because, after all, it was one of Leicester’s very own: something that the people took pride in. With his fanbase growing by the day, this may have been his last time performing in an intimate venue like this, making it an even better experience for the attendees.
In an interview with Versus, he mentioned that he used to walk into WellGosh in town in Leicester and could not afford anything. Everything does come full circle in life because, the day after his concert, he held a meet & greet at WellGosh in collaboration with Billionaire Boys Club.
Round & Round
Ritisha Shahriar is a second-year international student from Bangladesh studying BA Business and Management. Her interests in media align with her hobbies – sports, pop culture and the occasional dabbling in marketing & finance. Find her on instagram @ritishashahriar
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