Music & Other Drugs had the pleasurable opportunity of attending one of Sampha’s debut NYC shows in Brooklyn, NY on Thursday October 27th. Sampha, and his special guest Kelsey Lu, joined forces at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg on a cold rainy night. We all piled in to get warmth and dry from the rain and to hear the sweet sounds of two incredible electrifying artist.
The show kicked off with Kelsey Lu. She walks out silent and focused and begins to give an amazing solo performance of the cello and giving us a classical music moment that we will never forget. She kicks off the show with her stargazing track, “Dreams,” and we are instantly drawn to her and amazed by the voice coming from the speakers. Kelsey was nothing less than captivating and she had this old soul about her that was authentic and contagious. We could tell that she was a classically trained vocalist but also at the same time she was very raw and beautifully flawed. It felt like time stopped when she sang the intoxicating “Running Out Of Time.” We were in Kelsey’s world and we didn’t want to step out of it. Our favorite of the night was the track about her grandmother, “Visions of Old.” We could hear her story come to life as she played the cello with love and care and told sweet sentimental story of her grandmother. Kelsey also threw in one of her favorite childhood memory songs by Carole King called “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” It was truly the best rendition we have ever heard of that song. She closed the show with the police brutality inspired track, “Liar,” and she continued to build layers on her vocals giving us a sonically orgasmic experience that we were lucky to experience and be a part of. Kelsey Lu is the truth.
Next up was Sampha. Sampha has never performed in NYC, so this was a treat for everyone. The lights dimmed and we could see Sampha in the shadows as he started his set with his new track “Plastic 100°C.” He sounded just like the record from the beginning and it was amazing to hear his unique voice speak so many volumes on this melting track. He followed with “Timmys Prayer,” which has been a favorite of ours since the track was released. Kelsey Lu joined him on stage to do backgrounds and harmonies on the track and the two were a sticky and sweet perfect combination. Sampha told the audience that he was still working on his debut album, and that will be out “very soon.” That also didn’t stop him from singing a few new tracks called, “Incomplete Kisses”, “Under” and “Rev Faults”. All three tacks were sonically pleasing and cohesive. It only made us want the album more and we are rest assured that this album will be nothing short of a masterpiece. One of the favorite moments of Sampha’s set was when he sang “Can’t Get Close” which is a track about his late father. The room went silent and we heard Sampha cry with music on the track and it was a beautiful moment. Sampha also sang the crowd sing-a-long “Too Much” and “Happens” and ended on a high note with “Blood On Me”. Of course he came back for an encore and gave fan favorites, “Without” and “Indecision” and we were very proud of Sampha for putting on a moving and intimate show that felt so personal and connected so well with fans. We are looking forward to his debut album and know that we would love to attend another show from him again. Check out clips from Kelsey Lu and Sampha, below.