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Kali Uchis & Jorja Smith brought their tour to Hulu Theatre at MSG (pics, videos)

The very cool double bill of US alt-pop singer Kali Uchis and UK soul singer Jorja Smith, also known as The Kali & Jorja Tour, hit NYC’s Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Friday (5/3). They both played great sets and they joined forces on stage during the encore for their collaborative “Tyrant” from Kali’s 2018 album Isolation. Videos from the show, including one of that collaboration, are below. Pictures are in the gallery above.

For more, here’s an excerpt from Maura Johnston’s review of the Agganis Arena show for Boston Globe:

Smith’s supple, rounded soprano gives extra heft to songs like the sleek “Where Did I Go?” and the sparkling “February 3rd,” curling around melodies in a way that draws out precisely felt emotions from each word. Her four-piece band was similarly exacting, stripping down and filling out each song’s space in ways that turned some of them larger than life; a three-note guitar riff propelled “Wandering Romance” from slow-burning jam into sound-system-worthy throwdown, which Smith punctuated by adding reggae legend Sister Nancy’s 1982 anthem “Bam Bam” to its close, while the synth-and-guitar maelstrom surrounding her on “On Your Own” echoed that song’s post-breakup sentiments. “On My Mind,” a jumpy track that pairs Smith’s assured vocal with a twitchy two-step beat, closed the set with a shimmy.

Uchis’s command of her domain was apparent from the moment she arrived on the rotating platform that served as her set’s centerpiece. Her 2018 album “Isolation” was one of the year’s standouts, its genre shifting given extra vibrancy by the unflinching presence at its core, and her set on Wednesday cemented her status as one of pop’s most fearless artists. Uchis has a lithe voice that summons mirror-ball brightness in its higher register, while her lower notes have a quivering ferocity. She stalked the stage as her band transformed the sinewy “Isolation” track “Dead to Me” into a glittery freestyle bounce, and turned serpentine amid the disco fantasia of “Your Teeth in My Neck.” Mashing up the chorus of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams’s jittery 2002 banger “Beautiful” with a chunk of Radiohead’s slacker-era rallying cry “Creep” showcased her varied palette; summoning the crowd to engage in call-and-response with a simple flick of her fingers, as she did during “Nuestro Planeta,” let her flaunt her power.

You can read more here.

Jorja Smith will be back in NYC very soon for Governors Ball.

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photos by Sachyn Mital

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