Upon the small, simple stage of the Echo, Simbi Ajikawo, aka Little Simz, killed it, in overalls and a windbreaker no less, offering no restraint whatsoever. At only 23-years-old, Little Simz knows exactly what she’s doing, and everybody fell in right behind it. She enthusiastically orchestrated the crowd’s energy into her own, a maestro of the audience who wore sweat like a badge. “I’ve got two questions for you…” and you can guess what the second one was: “Do you wanna see a dead body?” Shortly after, she dove into the crowd, and everyone went wild. But for every riot Ajikawo started she matched with equally moving moments, including a dedication to her old neighbor with “God Bless Mary.”
She played everything from old standards (“Devour”) to her most recent album (“Shotgun”, “King of Hearts”). As it were, Ajikawo also received a gift from Fender that day, and showed us all her newest toy in its bright pink glory. Watching her riff her way through “Poison Ivy” felt like you were in on the jam session with her, Ajikawo’s face constantly in awe of the spectacle she reduced us (the crowd) to. Even knowing the effect she had on us, Ajikawo still did her damnedest to hype us all up, resetting songs with impunity if she felt our enthusiasm came up short. “Never ever wanna leave/Let me stay lit,” she wailed by the show’s end, echoing all our feelings about this tiny girl’s massive showmanship.
As she says, women can be kings, but Little Simz more than that: she’s a f*cking emperor.