Upgraded from Lincoln Hall to the Metro after his first ever tour sold out in just minutes, Grammy Award-nominated R&B singer-songwriter Giveon hosted a night to remember in Chicago on November 30. Giveon first appeared on people’s radars with his feature on Drake’s “Chicago Freestyle,” and while he might be from LA, his night at the Metro had the likeness of a homecoming looming in the air.
Beginning his career during a pandemic seemed to have little restraint on the quick success that Giveon has racked up, and his stage presence was as seasoned as those who have been touring for years on end. Only being Giveon’s second time in Chicago following his first ever festival performance at Lollapalooza this past August, his night at the Metro was a highly anticipated show in front of a packed to the brim crowd. The line to get in formed hours before doors. Fans lined the sidewalks of Wrigleyville, wrapping around the block with vaccination cards and IDs in hand ready to be checked upon entrance.
While a new variant of Covid-19 is on the forefront of minds, the Metro had a pre-pandemic ambiance upon entrance. The room was electric. The overflowing balcony and GA floor filled with flashlights to welcome Giveon onto stage as he was then met with fans screaming back every word to him. The volume of the crowd soon cued the suave headliner to request both speakers and in-ear levels to be raised to ensure both he and the crowd could hear himself. His presence exuded confidence, control, and humility. Giveon earnestly engaged with the faces in front of him throughout the night and in-between songs; at one point wishing one fan a happy birthday and later picking up a phone on FaceTime to sing to a fan at home.
Giveon could be described as humbly confident – as the show’s duration went on, he became more alive. With that said, Giveon clearly knows how to craft a live show and how to control a crowd. He moved from energetic bass filled songs to sitting on a stool with a wine glass for a ballad lull, and back to crowd moving, date night appropriate hits. Combining his setlist with his stage presence and clear vocal strength allowing him to transition from baritone to soprano runs, Giveon showcased his strength as a musician that points to the evident longevity of his career ahead.
Standout songs of the night were “Like I Want You,” “Favorite Mistake,” “Vanish,” and his rendition of “Peaches” with Justin Bieber and Daniel Caesar.
Known by the moniker of his first name, Giveon is soon to be a household name. His old soul persona combined with progressive music and charismatic presence has him catching hearts left and right and are a perfect storm of what has been missing from the music industry for some time. From a date night to a night out with friends, Giveon is clearly aware of his strengths, and live performances is certainly one of them. If presented with the chance to see him live in the future, I urge you to take the night off and find yourself a ticket.
Photo credit: Randall Starr