Saw Frank Ocean two weeks ago. Had fun but, sadly, I was not blown away.
Is this how it will go with these emerging artists? That instead of getting to see them build to climax by playing a series of small club shows, learning how to work crowds, learning themselves on stage, we have to settle for these voyeuristic showcases that are kind of musically pitiful?
I don’t know one semi-discerning person who left that show feeling wowed. It made me think back to seeing the Weeknd’s first show at The Mod Club last year. Same trappings: everyone was frothing at the damn mouth, vibe was killer, deep summer, live band extrapolating synthesized music, palpable hesitance from the performer. And yet all those things came together in Tesfaye’s favour, and I wonder if it’s maybe because there was a physical constraint in the smaller space, which allowed him to give as much as he was able to at that point in his career.
I will go see Frank Ocean again though.