#Day 8 of Daley’s Days + Nights Tour @ Visulite Theatre:
How does one calm their nerves before a performance? I’d imagine a few tequila shots at the bar and a couple calming mantras, but apparently Daley is just too well-versed. During his very first visit to the Queen City, the Whole Foods Market devotee opted for Bo Time! and stopped by V101.9 for a sit-down with ChirlGirl.
As cliche as “There’s something in the water” may sound, it conveys a message: the UK is a hotbed for talent (e.g. Lianne La Havas, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Estelle,Sampha, Kwes, Laura Mvula, Jesse Ware and etc…). I was surprised that of all places, The Visulite Theatre would snag such an artist to perform in their establishment. I’ve been there once before and always saw them as more keen to the Rock/Bluegrass scene. Visulite weren’t the only ones testing the waters that night. This show was definitely intended for the Grown and Sexy, so naturally I got the jitters. All I could think of was: Will I be the youngest one there? and Am I really about to show up alone and “Baeless” (as my generation likes to style it) to a R&B show?
I knew the atmosphere would be completely different from all my prior shows (Hip-Hop/ Pop-Rock) and that’s exactly why I wanted to go. Waiting for the festivities to begin, you couldn’t help but groove to the chosen song selection: All The Things (Your Man Won’t Do) by Joe, “Apple Tree” by Erykah Badu and “Superstar“ by Lauryn Hill; all foreshadowing what we could expect to hear later on in his set.
Equipped with a drummer, guitarist (Charlie) and keyboardist; the lights dim to blue as the audience chants “Daley!”
Appearing on stage draped in an all-black ensemble, he began to serenade us with “Time Travel“. Nurtured by US and UK musical stylings: Prince, D’Angelo, Sade, Radiohead and Imogen Heap, he’s blended a unique sound all his own — ‘future-throwback- soul’ to be exact. Getting into the more up-tempo songs on his latest album, DAYS + NIGHTS, he hit us with “Good News” and merged “Game Over” into Rufus and Chaka Khan’s soulful jam “Sweet Thing“, it surely got the crowd and myself singing right along.
He spoke a bit and thanked us for being apart of his very first show in Charlotte, NC. While I was stuck in awe by how British singers turn their accents on and off; he kept the show rockin’ with performances of “Blame The World” and “Love & Affection” showcasing his amazing falsetto. After giving brief history about a troubled friend who wouldn’t accept his help, my favorite performance of the night took place. I have to admit, I wasn’t all that sonically impressed by my first listen of Days & Nights; but sometimes “Seeing is Believing”. After witnessing the life he breathed into “She Fades“, I couldn’t help but give the album another listen. I found this song so relatable and incredibly touching. We all have our favorites and his happens to be the title track, “Days & Nights“.
Everyone must have been in a “try new things” mood that night. An amateur to playing keyboard live, Daley gracefully melted into the chords of Jill Scott’s “He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat)”, how much my face lit up when I heard that? you can only imagine. Amazed by the evident vocal control Daley displayed over his riffs and runs during “Smoking Gun”, a guy near by hollered “He ran over that, He ran right through it!”. I couldn’t help but laugh. “Be” had people finger snappin’ to the rhythm, “Those Who Wait” had Daley reminiscing about his journey as an artist and “Songs That Remind Me Of You” had me droppin’ that NaeNae; making it my second favorite performance of the night. I can be the biggest skeptic when it comes to song renditions. In Daley’s case, justice was served. Frank Ocean’s “Thinking Bout You” never sounded better. I mean, how could it? when you have Usher’s “Climax”, “Nice and Slow” and Mint Condition’s “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” trailing not too far behind. By this time, R&B fans were loving every damn second and he was now in the presence of a very pleased crowd.
As things cooled down a bit he invited everyone to the merchandise table after the show for a little meet & greet. Prior to this night, I knew one song by Daley — surely, you know which one I speak of — and barely knew how to pronounce the man’s name correctly. This didn’t stop me and it didn’t stop a woman who admitted to not knowing all the words to his songs. As trivial as that sounds, it happens. It’s not about you hanging onto every single word nor having known the musician beforehand, it’s all about experiencing live music and expanding the audience. Redefining the way heartfelt music and songwriting looks, sounds and feels, Daley fuses both past and present so seamlessly. A quick run-through “Look Up” (produced by Pharrell Williams) and he had dashed off stage. I couldn’t believe he would end the show on such a note and thankfully the couple next to me couldn’t either. The woman handed me the set list lying on the ground and assured that there would be an encore. Certain enough, Daley rushed right back on stage and ended the night proper with “Pass It On” and of course! “Alone Together”, which the crowd served as a stand-in for Marsha Ambrosius. I even captured some footage, but due to the intimacy of the venue and how close I was to the speakers, the bass can be a bit much. Apologies for the crick in your neck also, Enjoy!
Daley’s upcoming Days + Nights Tour dates here.
Special Thanks to Ebony Fernandez.