Live music experiences like concerts, festivals, or even streamed performances are some of the best ways you can enjoy the music that you love. You get a new way to experience the sound that you love from an album, you get to see artist and fan engagement on a first-hand level and you are able to share a space with other fans leading to new bonds and relationships. Plus, being able to see an artist that you love, I mean LOVE is a memory that you will never forget.
Back in April, I was finally able to see Smino after watching multiple Bay Area shows through Twitter. After the first San Francisco show sold out, I was able to get a ticket for the second San Francisco show on April 14, at the Regency Ballroom.
Most times you aren’t able to hear after shows for a few days tops. After this show, it took my ears a good month for them to get back to a normal place where they weren’t ringing every night as I lie in bed.
All night the crowd was roaring with excitements and the lyrics from all of his songs. The girl behind me was shattering my eardrums with her shrieks.
“Go, baby!” she yelled. “I love you Smino!”
The St. Louis artist, Smino’s music first came into my life when his 2017 album, ‘Blkswan’ came out. In 2017, he came to Oakland on the Swanita tour and I made it my mission to go to to his next one. Mission accomplished. Hearing and seeing my favorite songs like ‘Klink’ and ‘Z4L’ in person and singing along with him made everything worth it.
At this show, the only opening act was Phoelix, which differed from most stops on this tour. Pheolix, the singer and rapper from Fox Valley, Illinois who has been featured on Smino’s comrades’ songs and projects like Noname’s 2019 song ‘Song 31‘ and Saba’s 2016 ‘Bucket List Project‘.
Phoelix was such a good performer. It was truly a sight to see him on his first tour captivating the crowd the way he did, it felt as if the stage was his second home. He knew how to make the audience pay attention and not just have silent listeners. The song ‘Drip‘ made me an instant fan. The way he controlled the crowd with call and response, it had everyone pay attention and listen as he transitioned from mainstage to his piano. He made a great addition to this tour, everything was so complimentary to the main act this night. From the DJs, Phoelix, to Smino and his whole set.
Smino himself, I was in awe. Aside from being such a fan and never seeing him in real life, this moment was one of the best moments of the year for me. By the time he came on I was front row. From the very first song to the last, the entire crowd shared the same feeling of happiness and anticipation.
The entire concert felt like one big party. It felt like one of the big parties that I used to go to with my siblings. It was such a good space to be in and it felt like a community, a great space to be with people who love the same thing as you, in real life for a change and not a twitter group chat for a change.
Through the night the exhilaration and the happiness in the room just increased until the last song. Smino left the stage after performing ‘Father Son Holy Smoke’ and doing the same ‘Zero Fatigue’ chant that opens the ‘Noir’ album. Everyone said their thank yous, did their bows and exited. The whole room erupted chanting Smino’s name over an over again. It was as if the chants were a rope pulling him back onto the stage for the very last song.
“DO KLINK,” I was yelling from the front row while Smino was standing there basking in the chants.
Klink dropped the lights started strobing.
Smino started, “All she wanna do is…”
“Drink, drink, drink,” the crowd yelled back.
I’m so glad that seeing Smino was my first 2019 concert and it was the first concert that I went to alone. The whole night was 10/10. Since I have been going to shows I always had to buy an extra ticket for a person who won’t even enjoy themselves. A weight was lifted off of me, I didn’t have to wait for anyone to stand in line with, I didn’t have to be the only one there enjoying myself. I made two quick concert friends, Annaka and Joli. I wasn’t alone, it was something I needed to do as a right of passage. Shows alone are fun. Just enjoy yourself.