Sampha “Process” tour review
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On the night of Sampha’s second ever show in DC, everything seemed to coincide with Sampha’s artistry perfectly. The atmosphere of the area surrounding the infamous 9:30 Club was modern with a rustic twist, a refreshing 60 degree breeze maneuvering through the moderately busy streets.
As audience members slowly trickle in, the mood is set by oldies soul, R&B and funk. Showgoers display a mutual understanding that the show was going to get intimate and emotional.
The London native did not hesitate to begin. The hypnotic keystrokes of “Plastic 100C,” the album’s first track, began playing as the crowd cheered. Sampha’s voice is emotionally thick, yet mellow and captivating.
“Timmy’s Prayer” begins with soft, faint bagpipes accented by synths and bass drums, quite possibly one of the most dynamic songs of the past year. The audience chimes in on the chorus, This was one of the highlights of the performance.
“(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” marks the end of the official performance, a touching and harmonic song driven by only a piano and Sampha’s iconic voice.
By the end of the song, Sampha and his band step off of the stage and out the exit door, the crowd exploding into cheering, chanting continuously for an encore.
To our incredible delight, we witness Sampha step back onto the stage.
Three snare drums on the left of the stage went unused throughout the performance; until now. Sampha and his band occupy the drums, playing his EP track “Without” rapidly and incredibly close-quartered.
The crowd roars with excitement, and begin chanting Sampha’s name as his band exits the stage. He tells the audience he will play one more song, and walks over to the keyboard; his signature instrument.
He plays another song from his “Dual” EP, “Indecision.” The song is fast-paced, and employs only a piano. “Let it all work out” Sampha sings, the crowd eagerly cheering along. By the end of the performance, Sampha can be seen tearing up in appreciation for the audience’s love for him, which induced a rush of emotions on my part as well.
The performance was emotionally invigorating, and Sampha himself, what with his mannerisms, discreet personality, beautiful voice and ear for music, is a gem. His first LP “Process” is incredibly beautiful through and through, and made the performance what it was.