Photographs by Sarah Rix.
In a year before the release of his debut album, Sam Smith has been quickly climbing to the top of the charts. The latest British pop sensation is the 2014 winner of the BRITs Critics Choice Award and BBC Sound of 2014 Poll. He already has a few hits under his belt with “Money On My Mind”, Disclosure’s “Latch”, and Naughty Boy’s “La La La”. Did I mention he is only 21? With In The Lonely Hour due in June, Smith gives Toronto a taste of what to expect for his debut.
Dressed to impress in a black & blue suit, Smith opens with an upbeat “Nirvana” and “Together”. His live band had the crowd swaying as if they were back in the early 90’s with that sophisticated, electric, RnB sound. For Smith, his vocals were a bit shy in the beginning, but it became a powerhouse as the night progress. His demeanor was quite poised and charming throughout the set. At times, he seemed to be in disbelief at how well the crowd was responding to his new material. but with that, disbelief came with a humbled smile.
Halfway through the show, Smith admitted he has never been in a relationship before. Many of his songs were about someone he fell in love with but didn’t love him back which explains why Smith sounds so blue. He said he had to dig inside his head and be sad, honest, and real. This omission was a great tie in for the haunting yet soulful ballad “Not In That Way”. Smith and his live band ended with his newest single, “Stay With Me”.
Without a doubt, Sam Smith is a young man who is immensely talented. His first sold out concert in Canada was the ultimate treat for concertgoers. And you have to admit, there’s something special about seeing a fresh performer make his mark in the industry.
Thanks to Embrace Presents for media access.