Mura Masa delivers thrilling performance

Sophie Gragg

In a night of dancing and fans bumping to every single beat, Mura Masa impressed L.A. fans yet again Friday with an absolutely brilliant performance. Headlining the show at The Wiltern with opener Joey Purp, Alex Crossan, better known as Mura Masa, knew exactly how to put on a night of entertainment.

The sold-out show is just the beginning of his 15-date U.S. tour, which will be followed by many more dates in Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Though the British-born musician has been making electro pop music since 2014, his career has skyrocketed since the release of the track “Lotus Eater” in 2014 and “Love$ick” in 2015. Since the release of his self-titled album in July of this year, Mura Masa has been met with positive responses from both avid fans and new listeners. Crossan has been touring a large amount of the year and just finished up playing several festivals including Lollapalooza, FYF Fest, Outside Lands and Life Is Beautiful last week in Las Vegas.

Because the album features guest artists such as A$AP Rocky, Charli XCX, Bonzai and Desiigner, fans were expecting a surprise guest to come out at some point. During opener Joey Purp’s set, rapper Aminé came out to perform his top hit “Caroline,” setting the expectations for who could come out during Mura Masa’s set, and the crowd was not disappointed. Both Bonzai and Fliss performed for much of the show with Mura Masa as well as Jamie Lidell and Nao, who each made an appearance to perform one song.

The British artist has background in many genres besides electropop including punk, hardcore, gospel and trap, all of which have influenced his current style. Many fans were surprised to see Crossan surrounded by a full band setup rather than a simple synth pad.  Keyboards and drums, both standard percussive instruments and electronic pads, surrounded him as well as the occasional electric guitar. Mura Masa wowed the audience as he played all of the instruments throughout the whole night as well as provided occasional vocals.

Within several opening beats to “Messy Love,” the crowd’s energy went through the roof and stayed there the whole night. The combination of the abstract visuals and over-the-top dancing from singer Fliss had the audience enraptured the entire performance. There wasn’t a dull moment; throughout the night, fans danced like there was no tomorrow. Bonzai and Fliss each came out for multiple songs including “Messy Love,” “helpline,” “Nuggets” and “Love$ick.” Making his stage debut in Los Angeles, Jamie Lidell sang his heart out during “NOTHING ELSE!” and won everybody’s heart with his soulful voice.

Mura Masa shifted the mood temporarily with his slow and sweet performance of “Blu” using only a few electronic instruments and his electric guitar. The venue was lit with phone flashlights as the audience swayed to the rhythm. Afterwards, the mood shifted and the audience went crazy for hit “Love$ick.” Mura Masa and his guests went away for a few minutes, returning for the encore. The set ended with the popular “Firefly,” featuring British singer Nao.

Given Mura Masa’s ability to fill an entire set with high-energy songs and beats that force you to move, the show was one to remember.  His aesthetic, from his unique outfit choices to extremely abstract visuals, makes one feel like they are at an abstract art gallery. His creativity and talent with both traditional and electronic instruments sets Mura Masa apart from all other electropop artists and puts him in a genre of his own. After a performance as legendary as this, it will be no surprise to see Mura Masa’s fan base grow even larger and more ardent.