Hydro, Glasgow ****
The Damn tour makes a simple but bold statement by having Lamar pacing a huge boxing ring-like stage with only a heavy duty PA and lightshow, solitary dancer and pyrotechnics for company and witty kung fu pastiche films for light relief. It’s a concept borrowed from mentor Kanye West and requires a megawatt charisma to carry it off – fortunately, Lamar has presence and belief in abundance without tipping over into West’s crazed ego trip territory.
Instead, Lamar was totally immersed in the delivery of his music and message – a deeply politicised black consciousness with a side order of sultry – making this a taut, intense, occasionally unsettling but also frequently funky trip with plenty opportunities for the disarmed fans to rap along plus a brief incursion by Lamar to a small podium in the heart of the crowd, where he crouched in a cage of tiny lights for the more intimate club track Lust. But it was love – the track of the same name as well as the adoration of the audience – which swept the show to its uplifting climax.