Sam Smith knows how to win over a crowd, and the sold-out crowd at Verizon Theatre to end the US leg of the tour Monday night was no exception.
The audience consisted of everything from 9 year old girls, happily married couples, teens, young adults, friends, families, 60 year olds and everyone in between, all there bonding over the same thing: the sensational Sam Smith. From the first words of Life Support, to the closing lines of Stay With Me, the audience cried, danced, rejoiced and listened to the words come out Sam Smith and his trio of backing vocalists. Soaking in every minute of the night so many had been waiting for.
I had the pleasure of seeing Sam perform last October at ACL. Many things have changed over the last 10 months. One of the biggest being the four Grammys Sam acquired from his tremendous album, In The Lonely Hour. Sam knows firsthand how quickly things can change, and he made certain to let the audience in on special life antidotes. It was only a few years ago that he was struggling to supporting himself in London. Not that along he was recovering from a heart-breaking relationship and using his writing to express himself… and turning that into the album that skyrocketed his career into what it is today.
During one of Sam’s chats with audience, he described that he really became himself with his music. He used this album as a coping tool. He was hurt, he wrote. He told the audience to sing with him, because now the songs were theirs’ just as much as they were his. Boy did the audience sing… and shriek… and cry as Sam went song after song of emotional crooning, leaving it all on the stage.
But Sam was sure to add later that he’s a happy person, so he wanted to write a song to his future lover. He kept it upbeat with some La, La, La and Latch… finishing the set with Money On My Mind. Another antidote I particularly enjoyed, as Sam described that the song was inspired by someone who is in the business for the money, unlike Sam, who’s in it for so much more.
Mixed in with all of Sam’s hits were a few covers. It felt like two divas were in the room as Sam belted out some Amy Winehouse and again when he made a Whitney Houston classic his own.
The whole night felt something of a dream. I terribly sad, happy, inspiring dream. If the growth in his showmanship, demeanor and overall career over the past 10 months has anything to say about his future, I would say it’s very, very bright.