Featured image and gallery: Georgina Hurdsfield
As the crowd buzzed with excitement, it could only mean one thing, Aitch is back in his hometown of Manchester for his Close to Home album tour. After selling out two nights at Manchester’s O2 Victoria Warehouse (3,500 capacity venue), this was Aitch’s biggest hometown show to date.
Opening with fan-favourite ‘Taste (Make It Shake)’ from his mixtape AitcH20, it was clear the Mancunian rapper has come a long way since its release in 2019. Sporting a custom-made white leather jacket with ‘Close to Home’ written on the back, Aitch bounded onto the stage. The crowd were in a frenzy as they tried to capture and take in the moment.
It didn’t take long for Aitch to interact with the crowd, saying how good it feels to be back in “Manny” with the “Mancunian girls”, his unstoppable charm and cheeky side of his personality coming out on the stage, it was clear the fans knew there was a momentous night in store for them. There is something extra special about seeing an artist perform in their hometown and it was obvious the crowd felt lucky to be there too.
Aitch played a range of songs old and new, songs from the newer album Close to Home stood out amongst the rest, showcasing Aitch’s more mature and reflective side as the tracks delve deeper into his personal life. It was transparent which new songs were the favourites amongst the sold-out crowd, as ‘Louis Vuitton’, ‘1989’ and ‘My G’ had the crowd impressively singing and rapping back word-for-word.
During his album title track, ‘Close to Home’, Aitch brought out a choir of children who sung in-between his versus, touching the hearts of those in the venue, with some fans even shedding a tear. It was heart-warming to see how much Manchester meant to the rapper, and how much Aitch meant to his fans as he paid homage to his roots.
The gig was drawing to a close, but there was another surprise in store for those lucky enough to be there. As the first notes of hit single ‘Rain’ began to play, excitement rose in the crowd. AJ Tracey joined Aitch on stage for their track together making it an unforgettable moment.
A night that will go down in Manchester’s rap history and surely a significant moment for Aitch. The Mancunian rapper gives Manchester a taste of what is yet to come, superstardom. If you missed out on these two special nights, don’t get yourself down, as Aitch has recently teased on his instagram that there may be a special gig in the works for Heaton Park in the new year, bringing something to look forward to as he will treat his hometown once again. Aitch will soon be selling out arenas, headlining festivals, and we know it is only going to get bigger and better from here.