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Roskilde 2023: Apollo Stage taken up to 11 and shaken to its core 

Allan Kortbæk
June 30th, 2023

REVIEW ★★★★☆☆New Jersey star delivers stellar show at Roskilde’s Apollo Stage.

(all photos: Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk)

There was, admittedly, no shortage of expectation suspended in the low hanging grey clouds around Roskilde Festival yesterday prior to New Jersey rapper and singer-songwriter 070 taking to the Apollo Stage. 

And take to the stage she did – grabbing what could only be described as a partisan crowd of all persuasions and interests in one fell swoop, taking them on a journey of discovery for little over an hour. 

Clad in baggy jeans that hung well below her waist, a white t-shirt and a faded leather jacket – flanked by a centrifugal bass thud that would become a signature for the show – Danielle Balbuena opened to the roaring crowd as if she knew all of them by name and could relate to everyone’s fears, hopes and dreams.

Casually breezing through titles such as ‘Skin and Bones’ and ‘Cocoon’, she seemed both comfortable and very much aware of her surroundings – so much so that very early on in the show the crowd were asked if they knew what a mosh pit was, schooled in its operational basics and challenged to get started. 

Inevitably, things got hot, sweaty and centrifugal pretty quickly – but as Danielle politely said at the start of it all: those who wanted to be in on the action could jump into the centre of the mosh pit, and those that didn’t, and that was fine, could move towards the edge. 

Church of the modern mould  
The crowd was then treated to one vocoder-infused banger after another – plenty of unreleased material to sink their teeth to alongside established anthems like ‘Guilty conscience’, ‘In the Pines’ and more.

It wasn’t all heavy bass and vocoder infusions, though Cue frequent drops – casual pauses in which Danielle offered words of encouragement – asking people to be themselves, stand united under the same sky and moon and not to be afraid of being different.

This wasn’t a show as much as it was a modern day Sunday sermon where anyone and everyone was genuinely welcome. 

New Jersey’s finest export 
Refreshingly, this was a performance in which 070 Shake owned the stage on her own – so, without the elements and showbiz expected of a star of her stature that often takes the attention away from the main persona.

She was also genuinely humble and connected with the crowd with ease – affectionately shouting “København” on several occasions while also admitting that when she grew up, she had no idea there was a country called Denmark. 

070 Shake departed as she came, drowned in a sea of bass, a roaring crowd with the grey, low-hanging clouds forming the perfect backdrop for what was a refreshingly imperfect show.

Would it be fair to say that 070 Shake is New Jersey’s greatest export since the heyday of Tony Soprano? On the basis of what we experienced last night, one could certainly make the claim. 


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