“My heart is racing right now,” Roy Woods passionately uttered at his Friday (March 30) night show at The Novo in Los Angeles, California.
The Canadian rapper launched his hour-long “lit” set in an-all black ensemble, an OVO chain and a red Supreme shoulder bag. As the show progressed, Woods captivated the audience with his frequent endearing words in-between songs and his lively energy — making it nearly impossible to ignore his buoyant aura.
As expected, Woods — accompanied by streaking lights and three screens in the background displaying gloomy visuals — performed a number of tracks off his debut album, Say Less, diving into his set with “Take Time.” Pacing back and forth and dancing to the beat of his own songs, Woods had the crowd rejoicing and loyally singing along to the tune and serving moves without inhibitions. Exuding a punk rock persona, the 21-year-old thrilled fans when he jumped off stage to frolic among front row spectators.
Grooving out and frequently checking in with his loyalists, the rapper jauntily ran through songs off his latest project, performing “Medusa,” “Monday to Munday” and “A Little Bit of Loving.” Bonding with his fans throughout, Woods made them feel as though they were all one entity. In fact, he didn’t let more than three songs go by without saying a few words, usually along these lines: “Having a good time so far? I love every single one of you.”
As he moved back and forth across the stage, Woods weaved in other tracks from his earlier works, intertwining “Love You,” “Instinct” and debatably his most notable song to date, “Drama” featuring Drake. And even though the 6 God rapper didn’t make an appearance, the crowd wasn’t phased, chanting every word of the song despite Drizzy’s absence.
The night didn’t go without cameos, though. There was one special guest who made a grand entrance, igniting the stage with his posse. PnB Rock made a surprise appearance performing his YFN Lucci collaboration “Everyday We Lit.” The Toronto rapper acknowledged his dear friend for gracing the stage saying, “That’s my fucking brother right here.” The two then gave each other the most genuine hug, demonstrating just how much they truly are rooting for one other.
After briefly leaving the stage, Woods returned with a new Levi jacket and no shirt and jumped back into “Top Left,” before transitioning into a crowd favorite, “BB,” which had the room feeling invincible.
There was an endearing moment when he stopped the entire show to stand before his faithful fans, as they screamed at the top of their lungs for him — clearly hoping he’d never let the night end. While most artists run down their set consecutively, performing each song back-to-back without many words or still moments, Woods took the time to take it all in. It felt like he was relishing the moment as if he was never going to get it back again.
“Y’all never gonna let me leave LA. Damn,” he said, making it seem like this show was somehow different for the OVO affiliate. “Let’s get to the motherfuckin’ party!” he added, continuing the night’s special vibe with the sensual tune, “Undivided,” smoothly sliding off his jacket from his right shoulder as he seductively spit vocals.
Eventually, he picked things up with “Something New,” leaving things on a high note as he glided to a close. His final speech for the night had Woods telling the crowd how much he loved them and saying, “My name is Roy Woods. I’m from Toronto, Canada, but I come from a small town called Brampton. LA, I love you. Thank you to every single one of you for being beautiful. Thank you for being your mutherfuckin’ self.”
For the last time, Woods stood grinning, relishing in the gleeful moment emerging artists only dare to dream of. Calling all his homies from the back of the stage, he commanded the room for the final time before calling it a night and leaving fans just as euphoric as they made him.