Kehlani, Rico Dirty, Destin Conrad play Red Hat Amphitheater

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Kehlani performs at the Red Hat Amphitheater on Saturday, July 30, 2022 in Raleigh, NC.

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R&B giant Kehlani cast a spell at the Red Hat Amphitheater on Saturday night in some experimental sets, mainly for longtime fans.

The radiant, multiplatinum singer in a series of colorful mutilated costumes—who uses the pronouns “he” and “they” but prefers “they”—was insisting on “short story”, then “shooter”. Interlude” was contemptuous.

By the time Kehlani — resplendent in a series of colorful cropped costumes — waving through the sultry power ballads on “Every Given Sunday,” the audience was transfixed, the flow of emotion plotted by the all-female creative team and was caught in the flow.

Stop at number two on a long tour of North America and Europe, the two-hour show was meticulously choreographed and based on high concept, anchored by set footage on Kehlani’s tour bus. Throughout, Kehlani’s voice was rich, melodious, and complex, softening into a ku on “Melt” and accelerating just as smoothly into the chirp on “Open (Passion)”.

On several tracks, Kehlani was set against footage of the artist’s own tour bus and flanked by four backup dancers in cargo suits. The dancers had plenty of solo space to showcase their deep talents, leaning on each other in the wings between tracks.

The Grammy-nominated singer wowed the crowd in the opening run of the show with the album “Blue Water Road”. The central part of the steamy throwback hits, lit in warm tones with lots of bird imagery, was portrayed as a dream sequence in which a bird was banging through the window of a tour bus.

“I’m still working on my sexy,” Kehlani sang through sensual acrobatics to the audience, waving across the stage floor during “Water,” wrapped upside down on a set of stairs to “Hate the Club.” .

The last third of the show was washed away in the acoustic bliss and calm vocals of the tour’s Titanic Bluewaters. A few more whimsical tracks played here, from a mischievous romp through “Good Thing” to the show’s pop-rock close, “CRZY”.

a new tech

The real story of the show, however, was one of self-reflection.

Kehlani’s last tour was five years ago, although some fans have called J.J. Must have just seen the artist’s set at Cole’s Dreamville Festival. Returning to tour felt different than expected, Kehlani said, having grown and changed and become a mother through COVID-19.

Throughout the show, the 27-year-old continued to thank fans for growing up with the singer over the past eight years.

Kehlani said, “It’s an honor to be in this place with you guys, it’s an honor to be here after motherhood.”

While some actors bring their audiences back in time with them by performing opening songs, Kehlani’s show felt strongly in the present. In a show designed for such deep feelings, the sections “SweetSexy Savage” (2017) and “It Wasn’t Good It Wasn’t” (2020) were styled slightly differently than the original recording. , as if the sheet music was read through one. kaleidoscope

Angry tracks like “In My Feelings” and “Nights Like This” came out without chopping – now airier, more pathetic. Even begging bedroom jams like “Change Your Life” and “Distraction,” which Kehlani challenges fans to recognize at the end of the show, sizzle under the smoldering.

The show gave the audience a bird’s eye view of how Kehlani’s relationship with romance has changed.

Kehlani came out as a lesbian in 2021, and the relationships depicted on the album aren’t just more tender and temporary than the stormy, steamy flings on her sophomore album—they’re also more openly queer.

But Kehlani has quietly weaved queer images into the track for years. The emphasis was during Saturday’s concert with a silky rendition of “In My Feelings”—a song about an unrelenting slow-burn—which was followed by a gender-flip followed by the fierce breakup ballad “Nunya”.

Also, “Blue Water Road” was created after Kehlani fell in love, and the singer worked hard to engage the audience.

“I’ve grown a lot,” Kehlani said. “I learned a lot about love, I fell in love. But I just want to say, if you have something special, don’t play with it.

Kehlani encouraged viewers to put themselves out there to talk to those around them, and was delighted to see the two fans in the front row flirt.

Later, Kehlani takes the stage to introduce a young queer couple face-to-face for the first part of “Melt,” a bright, comforting love song about the vulnerable intimacy of growing closer to a new flame.

“I would like to dedicate this to every single form of lover,” Kehlani said.

rico nasto

Decked out in a screen-printed miniskirt and a glittering skull necklace, opener Rico Nasty was an instant crowd favorite.

It is extremely difficult to describe the style of music of Dirty. She raps at the top of her lungs in a high, shrill scream, and the end of her sentences rises before whining back.

Maria-Cecilia Simone Kelly, 25, born in Washington, calls her style “sugar trap,” according to DJ Booth, and the unique sound translates well.

Although she leaned heavily on a background track as she danced through titles like “Intrusive” and “Watch Your Man,” dirty went all the way to crowd favorites like “Tia Tamera and Black Punk.”

His bold lineup of aggressive, devil-may-care rap anthems was reduced with joy as the audience interacted with the audience between dirty songs, smiling behind a raised hand. She sang a verse of “Vaderz” a cappella with the crowd and even entertained a fan with a slightly off-kilter rendition of “Happy Birthday,” pausing between “Blow Me” and “Rage.”

“I’m enjoying the vibe,” Dirty said to Raleigh after a wild, raspberry joyride through “Gotta Get Paid,” jumping onto a platform lit in acid green. “You guys are really, really, really, really funny.”

Dirty may have been the tour’s opener, and on one of its first stops to boot, but the whole thing felt less like an introduction and more like a victory lap.

destin conrad

Before Rico took the stage, rising R&B singer Destin Conrad buzzed the crowd with a brief set. The 22-year-old Florida native is a longtime friend of Kehlani, and throughout the set, Kehlani jokingly referred to her as her first child.

At “Day Party”, which was released just two days before the show, Conrad seemed lost in thought, his dancing loose and flowing. Under a golden hour sky and a blazing sun, as fans packed together at the Red Hat Amphitheater, a summer party felt like a lot to hear.

His melodious, melodious vocals also lent themselves well to “life changing” and “unexpected, crunchy lyrics and slow-beat beats that you could sway over. While Rico’s Dirty’s set was a treat for the crowd.” The hype was the machine, Conrad was more relaxed and reflective.

Later in the evening, Kehlani drags them onto the stage for a smoky, well-received duet on their joint track “Open (Passionate)”, “This is what I listen to every day. She’s my favorite.” Artists.”

Kehlani’s setlist

“Short Story”

“Shooter Interlude”

“any given Sunday”

“More Than I Want”

“Orange”

“Open (Emotional)” [with Destin Conrad]

“Language of Love”

“peace of mind”

“Am I”

“Water”

“Hate the Club”

“I wish I never”

“Up in the Night”

“Serial Lover”

“start Me Up”

“everybody’s business”

“1”scheduled tribe place”

“you should be here”

“way”

“distraction”

“in my feelings”

“Under cover”

“Nunya”

“Grief”

“change your life”

“toxic”

“Nights Like This”

“melt”

“everything”

“altar”

“CRZY”

Rico Dirty’s Setlist

“Dirty”

“Easy”

“Smack a b—-“

“watch your man”

“interfere”

“GETTA PAYMENTS”

“Wardz”

“Black Punk”

“5 on one”

“Fall”

“Tia Tamera”

“blow me up”

“fast”

“Fuckin’ Lady”

Raleigh News & Observer Related Stories

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Ilana Arughetti is a Metro reporting intern at The News and Observer. She is a rising senior at Northwestern University, where she was most recently City Desk Editor at The Daily Northwestern. You can reach Ilana at [email protected]

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