Tori Kelly – O2 Academy Brixton
While teenage screams filled O2 Academy Brixton last night, no one’s voice could be heard louder than Tori Kelly. Following her highly-praised Grammy performance, the budding superstar jumped across the pond for a quick UK tour. After these four shows, it’s back to the States for an almost two-month run. Let’s hope her engine’s full, because from the powerhouse vocals she put on full display last night, it’s going to be necessary to do that night after night for the coming months.
Opening the show for Kelly was Samm Henshaw, one of the UK’s (and my) artists to watch. Packed with soul, Henshaw gave fans the full taste of his latest EP “The Sound Experiment.” Eyes glistened from songs “Only Wanna Be With You” and “Autonomy (Slave).” However, the biggest highlight of his night was closing number “Better.” With some backing vocals from the packed arena, Henshaw ended his night on the best note and left fans eager for more. Thankfully, the night was just getting started.
Leaving it all on the stage from her opening song (“Where I Belong”), Kelly gave fans goosebumps with an acapella performance. With a backing band, though, the energy picked up with “Unbreakable Smile” and “Nobody Love” – definite crowd pleasers. The most impressive parts were yet to come, starting with the latter tracks from “Unbreakable Smile.” At moments, I worried if fans would know the next song – they did. Every single one. Each song resonated with her highly-established fan base. There wasn’t a single quiet moment until the venue cleared and the doors shut. Most impressive, though, was her solo time on stage. From cover songs to songs only backed by her guitar, Kelly pulled off a truly impressive and diverse set.
As the night went on, I kept thinking to myself that Kelly appeared to be the female Ed Sheeran. Yes, her band was extremely impressive, but I wouldn’t have minded if it was just her the entire night. It’s obvious Kelly is a force to be reckoned with. By her final song, I was desperate for more. More (new) music. More live performances. More simple, yet talented singers like Tori. Although I’ll have to wait for those things, her performance of “Should’ve Been Us” sufficed.
To all of my American friends and readers, get tickets if she’s in your city, especially if you want a concert that focuses on the signer. Not the production. Not the frills. Just the simple girl from Wildomar, California.
Check out the rest of the tour dates for the remainder of Tori Kelly’s tour dates here!