The first of Daniel Caesar’s two shows in London as part of his Freudian tour, was chilling and magic. KOKO’s intimacy and stripped back nature as a venue played right into the musically gifted hands of Caesar and his band, each of whom received an ovation halfway through the night.
Despite recent project ‘Freudian’ being his gateway into the wider R&B audience, Caesar performed some of his past work too, shining enormous light on his abilities and his faith in an audience to be invested in his artistry.
Allowing the band to showcase their quality early on proved a calculated step. People wanted a gentle and romantic evening, so after a few tracks he grabbed a stool, reached for his guitar, and serenaded the fans up until the end.
Performing tracks which originally have guest features worked well for him as he sang them entirely uninterrupted, beautifully, and with a raw confidence. Even if not every audience member knows every lyric – Caesar invents such a pretty ambience when he performs his music that you can’t help but be entranced by what’s on stage.
‘Best Part’ and ‘Hold Me Down’ were exquisitely executed and the crowd adored it all, but when Caesar left the stage after just 40 minutes on it…everyone cried out for his hit single, and arguably his best song, ‘Get You’ to finish off.
He, of course, came back. He, of course, performed it. And, of course, it was marvellous. An entire building of fans singing the sexual and sensitive ballad, each to the best of their ability, was something to behold.
Caesar often ended up directing the choir that was the audience – fans so eager for songs that they began singing them before they had begun. Jamming his guitar, strolling round a stage designed to look like an inviting bedroom, he was at one with the crowd. With lyrics and instrumentation so mesmerising, it was physically moving to hear Caesar’s angelic voice at full flight, live.
Written by George Kennedy