Kendrick Lamar at AO Arena

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Renell Medrano

Kendrick Lamar at Manchester Arena, Manchester 16 November 2022 Tickets from £64.50 — Book now

Following an excellent fifth album and a masterful headline performance at Glastonbury, Kendrick Lamar is victory lapping the world, calling in at Manchester’s AO Arena on 16 November.

Multi-Platinum, Grammy-award winning artist and co-founder of creative imprint pgLang, Kendrick Lamar has achieved massive critical and popular success since his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city dropped in 2012. Since then, he’s accumulated a staggering total of 14 Grammy wins, and become the first ever hip hop artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for his 2017 album DAMN. Lamar’s latest album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, released in May 2022, further cements his status as one of the world’s best.

What makes Lamar different from other rappers? It’s not just that he’s a gifted storyteller, it’s not just his incredible flow, it’s not just the fact that he takes big risks musically, drawing on everything from jazz to soul to the avant-garde. It’s his openness to be vulnerable and flawed, and to speak eloquently and compassionately about people – himself included – who are in pain.

In the brilliantly unwieldy Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, he wrestles with everything from the trauma of Black experience to the struggle of trans people, from the seeds of domestic violence to the false prophet of materialism. Each of these topics is refracted through the experience of either himself of his family members, bringing an intimacy to issues that are often tackled with broad brushstrokes.

As his headline set at Glastonbury proved, Lamar is an incredible performer, bringing as much dramatic flair to his live shows as he does to his albums. Aesthetically stunning, tightly choreographed and meticulously thought out, his Worthy Farm show bordered on avant-garde theatre, while Lamar, a magnetic live presence, stood at the eye of the storm, delivering his bars with an unrivalled, HD clarity. Watch it back on iPlayer and try to resist the idea of watching this kind of performance in the flesh on 16 November.

Kendrick Lamar at Manchester Arena, Manchester 16 November 2022 Tickets from £64.50 Book now

What's on at Manchester Arena

Where to go near Kendrick Lamar at AO Arena

Virgin Red Room
Virgin Red Room

The Virgin Red Room is a new private members space located at Manchester’s AO Arena, with VIP access to some of the city’s biggest gigs.

Chetham’s Library in Long Millgate in Manchester
Chetham’s Library

Chetham’s Library is one of the must-sees of any visit to Manchester. The library was founded in 1653, and is the oldest public library in the world – but the building dates back even further, to 1421.

Cathedral Quarter

High-class restaurant next to Victoria Station in Manchester, and attached to Hotel Indigo. Famed for steaks.

City Centre
Event venue
Sadler’s Yard

Sadlers Yard is a public square and events space in Manchester from NOMA Mcr. Home of the Pilcrow Pub and PLANT NOMA.

Music venue
The Stoller Hall

The baby in the family of Manchester’s concert halls, The Stoller Hall greatly enhances the city’s already enviable live music provision.

Event venue
Federation House

Federation House in Manchester is a pop-up project space that provides opportunities for artists, artist groups and artist development agencies.

City Centre

Allpress at NOMA is a home to all things coffee, with a café and seasonal menu incorporating locally sourced ingredients.

Kaleido, Manchester, image courtesy of venue
Cathedral Quarter

Kaleido is a restaurant and bar that can be found on the fifth and sixth floors of the National Football Museum in Manchester’s Urbis building.

The National Football Museum Manchester
National Football Museum

The National Football Museum is now open to the public, ready to show off its impressive array of football-related exhibits and activities.

Cathedral Quarter
Salvi’s Mozzarella Bar

Head to this tiny Italian eatery for an authentic slice of Naples. It majors in mozzarella and the stuff here is a revelation: light, flavoursome, with oily, oozing pesto.

What's on: Music

DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

from £269
RNCM Autumn Season

The RNCM’s Autumn Season brings with it an incredibly diverse programme of live music from across the genre spectrum. Here are our highlights.

from £8.50

Serving up crunching noise pop, synthwave and shoegaze, Manchester’s own Joe Oxley AKA TVAM performs a special Christmas show at YES.

from £16.80

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Spotlighting global artists who all, in one way or another, break the mould, we preview the best gigs happening this side of Christmas and beyond.