Better than: Wine and candlelight
Miguel wants to love you. He wants to kiss you. He wants to hold you and make you feel like a woman. He wants to adorn you with his affection. He is also apparently, judging by his lyrical content and dance moves, DTF.
Hormones were thus raging last night at the Hollywood Palladium, where the new soul crooner performed as part of Bud Light's 50/50/1 event, a one day nationwide concert in which 50 acts play shows in every state. Louisiana got Big Boi, Alaska got Portugual. The Man. and Los Angeles got its hometown son Miguel.
See also: Miguel Finds His Place
“Basically, I am Los Angeles,” Miguel said at one point during the show, noting that he's the child of a Mexican father and an African American mother. If the San Pedro-born singer's ethnic heritage makes him an L.A. poster boy, so does his hipster fashion sense. Last night he was eastside chic, sporting torn jeans, a letterman jacket, a leather vest and a button down shirt tied around his waist 1995-style.
See also: More photos of the show.
He worked these layers, at one point letting the jacket slowly slide off of his shoulders while lusty shrieks emanated from the audience. When the jacket was gone he briefly lifted up his white t-shirt and flashed his abs at the crowd while smiling his perfect smile. (More shrieking, obvs.) His haircut was high and tight, and his aviators stayed on for the first half of the show.
The man is good looking, to put it mildly, but if he were simply handsome then he'd just be another dude slinging cocktails behind a bar in WeHo. Fact is, Miguel can sing. Really sing. His voice is something delicious, alternating between a smooth falsetto (lusty shrieks) and an outright wail reminiscent of Marvin Gaye.
Last night's set borrowed heavily from Miguel's 2012 breakthrough LP Kaleidoscope Dream. Some of the songs were kind of boring, especially the slower ones, but Miguel performed the shit out of each of them. His stage presence is magnetic and borderline goofy, like a 21st century Little Richard with a dash of Prince's sex appeal. This is to say that Miguel was a highly animated and utterly enthusiastic pantry dropper, smiling often, running back and forth across the stage, falling to the floor, and doing a sort of knee-popping modified running man dance, all with total commitment. He also did the splits, like, three times, and there was also a lot of thrusting. (And so much lusty shrieking).
It was a well-executed production. Miguel was backed by a fairly excellent all-male band that included a drummer, bass player, a guitarist and some guy doing something with a laptop. Their performance was tight, loud and done with an enthusiasm which matched Miguel's own, which is saying a lot.
Banter oscillated between sexual innuendo and deep thoughts. During “How Many Drinks” Miguel rephrased the song's chorus, asking the audience literally how many drinks it would take for us to leave with him. “Ladies, three?” (Lusty shrieks). “Two?” (More screaming). One?” (We're freaking out here). “None?” (Literally women are rushing the stage). “Prove it,” he demanded. (And I'm sure some poor girl fainted.)
During a more serious moment, he he went on a bit of a ramble about painting your life with your thoughts and the power of belief and blah blah blah, but it was a nice message that was was kind of endearing because he seemed to really mean it. Miguel has got that alpha male thing going for him in the sense that he can get away with most anything because he does it with confidence. Or maybe one is just dazzled by his smile and his dance moves and thoughts about getting him alone and doing all the things he sings about. (Lusty shrieks from the inner monologue). In any case, he's got the sex vibe thing down in a way that's different from the “Blurred Lines” bro fest circle jerk crew in that he doesn't want to make fun of you or demean you, he just wants to make you feel good. At least he's capable of making one think that that's what he wants, which is enough.
He did play with our emotions via a brief teaser of his breakout hit “Adorn” before announcing that he's happy L.A. “finally legalized” and then going into “Do You…”
“Sorry mom,” he said after repeating the song's chorus (“do you like drugs?”) over and over while writing around on the floor. The audience was going wild, although it was unclear if the shrieking was for our mutual love of drugs, or because we really like Miguel. In any case, he then did “Adorn” in its entirety, starting an audience wide dance party singalong before exiting the stage and then coming back out to cover a verse of Tupac's “I Get Around.”
“My name is Miguel. “Don't you ever forget it,” he warned us before closing the show with “Beautiful,” his summer jam duet with Mariah Carey. Mariah Carey herself didn't show up, but that was fine.
Overheard in the crowd: “If my boyfriend is still awake after this show he's definitely going to get lucky.”
Random notebook dump: Jay-Z wants to farm your content, Miguel just wants to hold you.
Full setlist below:
All I Want
How Many Drinks
Candles In the Sun
Lotus Flower Bomb