‘Twas a chilly Thursday night in November and all through Deep Ellum so many creatures were stirring, it was kind of ridiculous. Driving down Main Street there were lines of gen-z’s in Adidas and sparkly tops to the left and hipsters in denim and plaid to the right. For whatever reason it was slow to get into venues, leaving concert-goers of all sorts scattered across the sidewalks for multitudes of blocks. Unfortunately because of this, my party was unable to see the first opener of the night, Silver Sphere, but the room was energized as I entered Canton Hall just after they finished.
The next opener was Dijon, an eccentric but chill band, made up of a smooth R&B singing dude in layers of plaid and sweats, a funky guitarist topped in a traditional cowboy hat, and a drummer/sound mixer in a must-be thrifted patterned jacket. The mishmash, yet concordance of looks was well-suited to their offbeat sound.
The singer’s voice was not far off Omar Apollo in a smooth, yet soulful flow, contrasted with hard-hitting beats and guitar riffs. The rhythms really jumped out because of their use of silence, pausing between drops and climbs, only adding when their component was needed. After a few chill, groovy tunes, they ended in an explosion of sound, including anger packed scream singing. Yet it worked. The loud juxtaposed end seemed to fit perfectly with their eccentric use of silence and sound.
The electricity continued when Omar Apollo entered the stage in a retro 70’s fashion, decked in a sequin patterned white robe, with rainbow soft lighting, and performed a groovy, energized number. He began as fully a performer, but after a few songs laid into some soulful melodies that made sure you knew this boy is not just a smooth dancing crowd-pleaser. There is no denying his crowd abilities however, displaying his sharp Michael Jackson-esque moves and flirty facial expressions. The room throbbed, swayed, and vibrated with the mood he rendered into the air.
He alternated between energy and vocals, emotion and hype, and everybody was on the same page. Apollo, only 22, also seems to still be in the youthful phase of his career, where there is a hint of wonder and appreciation in his eyes for this mass of people who sing the words he once thought of on his own back to him on stage.
Concerts are always more enjoyable when there is this leveled interaction, a mutual appreciation and respect that lifts the partnered intensity of the entire performance. After the required exit and return for a hyped encore, the masses flooded back to the cold streets, but warmed from the beautiful vivacity Omar Apollo shared with us.