Photos + Review: Kevin Garrett & X Ambassadors at The Observatory North Park (San Diego, CA)

Kevin Garrett (Brooklyn, NY), Skylar Grey (Mazomanie, WI), and X Ambassadors (Ithaca, NY)
November 15th, 2015
The Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA

I never expect Sunday night shows to be very well-attended, but X Ambassadors pulled in quite the crowd this weekend at their last show touring with Skylar Grey and Kevin Garrett.

Opening the show with his “odd soul” music was Kevin Garrett. He has a vocal style that demands to be heard. Most of the audience was silent, not because of a lack of interest, but because of his captivating voice that combined perfectly with the calming instrumentals. This is the kind of act you just take in, letting the lyrics register in your head while you feel the soulful vibe in the air. I’m definitely going to keep my eye on this guy, I feel there are great things to come from him.

Ms. Skylar Grey graced the stage with her powerful presence as she got the crowd going with her enchanting voice. She moved about the stage calmly and with poise. The way she spoke and carried herself combined with the white lights flashing brightly behind her almost made her appear like some sort of goddess. She brought out a red wig-wearing Sam Harris, singer for X Ambassadors, to perform their upbeat collab “Cannonball,” which the fans went nuts over. Other crowd pleasers were her shortened renditions of “Love The Way You Lie,” “Clarity,” and “Coming Home.”

Finally, X Ambassadors made their entrance with an energy that lit up the stage. It’s hard to pinpoint a single genre to describe this band. Some songs have a folk-rock feel, while others are closer to hip-hop or soul. I was blown away when they played the song “Gorgeous” and Sam Harris showed off his insanely high voice very reminiscent of gospel. The stage presence of both Sam and his brother Casey were the greatest. Between Sam’s rhythmic dancing and Casey going crazy on the keyboard, it was hard to look away. A highlight of the show was when they played the super fun song “Naked,” during which the members of the previous bands came out wrapped in towels, including Skylar Grey who then proceeded to flash Sam on stage, leaving everyone with their jaws dropped. They also played their most well-known song “Renegades,” after saying a few words directed towards the tragedy in Paris. Before starting the song he got the crowd to scream “I am not afraid!” and then both of the touring acts came out on stage to sing along with them. X Ambassadors is now headed to Canada for a good amount of sold out gigs and will make their way back to the US in December. If they have a tour date near you, do yourself a favor and don’t miss it!

 

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