“Lively, extraterrestrial, and incredible,” were the words 17-year-old Jonathan Roensch used to describe Shamir Bailey’s sold out concert at the El Rey Theatre on Sept. 26. With electrifying beats and playful lyrics, Shamir had no trouble keeping the crowd on their feet throughout the hour-long set.
From the moment the curtains went up the audience went crazy – so crazy that Shamir had to wait for the applause to subside before performing his first track “Vegas” from his debut electronic pop album “Ratchet” released under XL Recordings.
Towards the middle of the show, Shamir pleasantly surprised the audience by taking them to what he called the “covers corner” where he sang renditions of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Y Control” and Joyce Manor’s “Christmas Card”.
What makes Bailey’s concerts unique is his ability to connect with the crowd. When it came time to perform epic bass track “Call It Off“, Shamir pointed his microphone away from the stage so the fans could sing the chorus. For his finale “Head in the Clouds“, Bailey jumped to the floor and started dancing with the audience, stopping occasionally to give hugs.
“This is the largest crowd I’ve played for out of my entire tour,” Shamir exclaimed with a shocked but humble expression on his face. As the concert progressed, it was no wonder the applause lasted so long.
The inclusive energy Shamir creates is the reason why his music appeals to different demographic groups. Contrary to many other artists, Shamir’s concerts attract fans from different ages, races and sexual orientation.
During the show, a 50-year-old married couple, a pair of teenage girls, a group of college grads, and a gay male sporting a glitter face mask danced side-by-side to Shamir’s beat. Whether intentional or not, Shamir brings a diverse crowd together and unites them for one night to have fun and enjoy the music.
From the engaging audience involvement to the exhilarating electronic tunes, Shamir’s show at the El Rey far exceeded expectations. Overall, Shamir “made a scene” concert goers will never forget, and we are counting the days until he makes his next big appearance in Los Angeles.