Blood Orange: Entering a New Age of Indie-Soul, Live in Nashville, TN
As we pulled up to the venue over an hour before Blood Orange , the line was well into the parking lot. I’ve never seen anything like it. All young music fans waiting eagerly to fall entranced to the nights bill: Porches and Blood Orange. The former a popular indie-electronica act out of Brooklyn, NY and the latter an exploding R&B sensation that is both pushing the genre while triggering the nostalgia of 90s soul. As we enter, the bass is bumping to Porches quirky, yet vibey, singing. He’s dancing behind his laptop that orchestrates the head bops and light sing-along. But then comes on his biggest hit to date: “Underwater”.
The crowd erupts so loudly that you would’ve thought the headliner was coming on. I turn around as I’m grooving to see all of Cannery Ballroom packed. For the opener. To finish out his impressive set came two of his biggest fan favorites that had the entire room dancing and the ground shaking: 2018’s “Find Me” and “Goodbye”. He quietly left the stage, further feeding into his mystique.
After about 25 minutes of setting up the stage, we were welcomed to the last 20 seconds of “Chewing Gum”, Blood Orange’s instant classic assisted by A$AP Rocky and Project Pat. It was go-time. Focusing mainly on 2018’s critically acclaimed Negro Swan, Blood Orange and his band meticulously designed a roller coaster of a show; highs having everybody belting lyrics from the pits of their souls and lows hypnotizing the crowd as he showed off his vocals.
Of course, he had to play his mainstays: Negro Swan’s “Charcoal Baby”, Freetown Sound’s “Best to You” and Cupid Deluxe’s “You’re Not Good Enough”. For “Charcoal Baby”, Blood Orange brought out Porches to sing the background part. He stayed on to party with the band for a song or two afterward.
My personal favorite from the night, however, was “Hope”, which featured his backup vocalists and really took the time to showcase just how amazing the entire Blood Orange experience is. If you can, definitely catch him on this tour, because he is going to come to define R&B for years to come. He’s currently on a break in his tour four about a month, so maybe look for some new music…
Upcoming Tour Dates
4/11 @ The Roxy in Los Angeles, CA
4/14 @ Coachella in Indio, CA
4/18 @ Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, CA (with Christine and the Queens)
4/21 @ Coachella in Indio, CA
5/23 @ Huntington Bank Pavilion in Chicago, IL (with Florence and the Machine)
5/24 @ DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkson, MI (with Florence and the Machine)
5/26 @ Budweiser Stage in Toronto, ON (with Florence and the Machine)
5/28 @ Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (with Florence and the Machine)
5/30 @ Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA (with Florence and the Machine)
5/31 @ Gov. Ball in New York, NY
6/3 @ Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD (with Florence and the Machine)
Written by Sam Harkey
Photography by Alexandra Cole