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Will Smith proves his fever for Blackpool crowd pleaser as Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff reunite

by Andy Johnson. Published Tue 29 Aug 2017 18:58, last updated: 04/09/17

When the incredible news broke that Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff were going to reunite - we knew we had to be there and when the dust settled and we realised we were standing in the shadow of Blackpool Tower, our surreal dream was complete.

Purple Revolver hustled their way near the front of the Livewire Festival crowd, waiting for a glimpse of the man himself just as an attention grabbing pyrotechnic display lit up the stage and Jazz span the opening bars to Boom Shake The Room.

But still no Will... then all of a sudden to delighted gasps and cheers from the audience the Fresh Prince was lifted on to the stage - a dazzling vision dressed crisply in all white - topped off with his hometown Phillies baseball cap.

Opening with Boom! Shake The Room and Gettin' Jiggy Wit It was a masterful touch and Will didn't let the pace or energy drop for a moment.

A lot of careful thought and planning has gone into crafting their first live show in 12 years, with the set sporting a stunning video and light display across the elevated decks, showing scenes from classic videos; Men In Black and Welcome to Miami, much to the delight of the gathered throng of 20,000 fans.

It's certainly a long way from the Caribbean climes of Southern Florida to the bracing winds which rattle past the Blackpool Tower from the Irish Sea, but there was indubitably an overwhelming feeling of love and happiness in the air.

"Blackpool!" Will shouted... "Blackpoool! As though he couldn't quite believe it himself.

The whole performance was a pure fantasy for this fan, reared on Tuesday night BBC2 showings of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, who never thought he'd get a chance to see Will rock the mic again, let alone in the fading summer glory of the dubiously titled 'Las Vegas of the North.'

Relentlessly The Fresh Prince pushed the town's name from his lips, like he'd discovered a new family friendly curse word he could use, with as much poetry and power as Samuel L. Jackson gives to his infamous muthaf**ka delivery.

"Ah man, Blackpoool! You have no idea how psyched I am to be here!"

For this is surely one of Will's best gifts, he can hold you captivated with his prowess on the mic, with no need to fall back on percussive cursing. Even hearing him spit swear words in Suicide Squad as the hard hitting Deadshot seemed shocking.

We were then treated to an illmatic rendition of their 80s classics, which made them one of the top names in hip hop, before Will scored the TV show of the same name which shot him to superstardom.

Will showed he has lost none of his shine on the mic with a pitch perfect performance of Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble and spoke to the audience about how they had won the inaugural Grammy for rap music with Parents Just Don't Understand, but the TV network decided to ban the rap category from the broadcast.

DJ Jazzy Jeff aka Jeff Townes then further showcased his mad skills on the wheels of steel during a breakdown which saw him deftly mix Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two with Michael Jackson - Rock With You to get the crowd truly rocking while Will looked on admiringly and grooved in his own inimitable style.

After the Too Damn Hype interlude, Will slowed proceedings down, brought out a stool and sat down to address the crowd before a heartfelt rendition of Just The Two Of Us. He recalled fond memories of his son Trey.

Pictures of dad and son throughout their life flashed on the stage set to the delight of the audience, who sung along in earnest. Trey, 24, who was watching his Pops from the wings said: "Looking at my dad up there he's obviously loving it.

"We'll definitely be back. The people here are so friendly and the energy is amazing."

This is definitely a night which will enter Blackpool folklore - and as if their blazing performance was not enough, we were treated to the world debut of The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff's new tune... Get Lit.

The catchy EDM track opens with a Reggae call and response inspired opening hook and was well received by the crowd. Typically, the tune carries a positive message and amongst the lyrics is this nod to geek culture; "We ain't part of those Neggatrons, we Transform and Get Lit."

You can watch the song get its world premiere in the video box above.

To round things off towards the end of their hour long set, they dynamic duo from West Philadelphia broke the opening beats of their early classic... "Drums please!.. Summertime!"

Bounding triumphantly from the stage, we felt certain that we would get one more song... and just when we thought Will had left us hanging for a rap-a-long to the iconic Fresh Prince theme tune, he burst back on stage for an emphatic encore rendition of his upbeat RnB hit Switch.

With Jazz once again proving his mettle on the decks by mixing the break in each Bel Air verse with the 'heey yaay eee yayyy!' hook of Switch.

Further fireworks dazzled the audience, which reportedly Will put £40K of his own dosh into and during the second burst, they disappeared from the stage as quickly and majestically as they had appeared.


Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff at Livewire Festival, Blackpool

Purple Revolver rating: 5/5 - The best duo since Carlton Banks crooned with Tom Jones.

Setlist

Boom Shake the Room
Brand New Funk
Gettin' Jiggy Wit It
Men In Black
Miami
(extended version)
Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble
Parents Just Don't Understand
Nightmare on My Street
I Wanna Rock
Just The Two Of Us
Get Lit
(New song)
Summertime

Encore:
Switch
(with Fresh Prince theme)



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"Amazing show - got to rank in my top 5 of all time, still can't quite believe the Fresh Prince was in Blackpool!" Andinio, Wirral around 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"What an absolutely incredible nite got to see my teenage idol live on stage ..it will stand alongside Michael Jackson at Wembley 97 for me x" Melanie Burton, Wigan around 2 months, 3 weeks ago