Even with 8-foot snow banks loitering on the Brighton sidewalks, the show must go on. Last night Theophilus London, accompanied by upcoming Atlanta artist Father brought his effortlessly cool vibes to a packed audience at Brighton Music Hall.
After a delayed start, Father took the stage and began his set with the breakout hit “Look at Wrist”. Feeding off the palpable energy between him and the fans, he performed standing on a speaker to get closer with the crowd, seeming slightly surprised by the amount of people enjoying his set. Father brought a mature charisma shared by his young contemporaries, artists who understand who they are and who their fans are, and have used the Internet to develop a strong connection with his listeners, similar to the likes of Rae Sremmurd, Logic and Michael Christmas.
When I asked London about bringing Father’s contrasting style on tour, he said, “I’m only focused on organic situations. I don’t have to do a song with him. It’s bigger than that. It’s about forming a family.” Father continued to run through tracks, rattling off “2 Dead, 6 Wounded” and “Fake AF” before delivering the crowd-pleasing title track to his latest project, Young Hot Ebony.
After Father left the stage with a lot of love from the fans, London’s band took the stage soon after. Citing Paris as a big inspiration for the eclectic sound on his album Vibes, London explains: “Paris is the epicenter for the creative people of the world. It’s the mecca of art and culture.” With musical contributions from Brodinski, Leon Ware (of Force MD’s), Kanye West, Adam Pavao and others, the album has a global perspective; it sounds something like if Kid Cudi and Prince teamed up in the 80’s for an LP produced by Quincy Jones.
Serving as his own DJ, London began his set by choosing the songs himself from a MacBook on the side of the stage. While the crowd waited in anticipation and confusion, London started his set with a mellow performance of “Water Me”. The calm track may have not provided the most energetic start, but after a few more upbeat songs, the fans responded in kind.
London made it a point to interact with the audience and surprisingly even took some requests. After one of these exchanges, he launched into one of the album’s best cuts, “Can’t Stop,” inviting the audience to get involved and sing along to the intro. Buoyed by the response, London hit his stride. After performing a few more songs, London brought Father back out to perform “Look At Wrist” one more time for the frenzied crowd, before closing out his set shortly after.
Despite losing the flow of the show at times, London deserves credit for making it a priority to interact with his fans every chance he got. And when he focused solely on performing, he delivered the goods. As far as what’s next for London, he is rumored to be on Madonna’s next album and he told me that he recently came back from working with Kanye West in Mexico on the Yeezus follow up.
In other words, more good vibes ahead.