It feels like Tori Kelly is on the cusp of big things. The 22 year old Californian singer-songwriter has been going from strength to strength recently. With a stand-out performance at the Billboard Music Awards in her back pocket and a new album being released in two and a bit weeks time Tori Kelly seems to be close to flying.
With her debut album looming she’s set off on the Where I Belong Tour which rolled in to San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom on Monday night. By the time she arrived on stage it was absolutely packed. Huge fans did little to cool the mini-oven we were all standing in. Tori showed no signs of heat exhaustion as she fired on to stage for what was a performance telling of someone riding high from recent successes. The Tori Kelly show has moved from regularly attracting millions of views on her YouTube channel to the verge of being a household name.
The show started with a bang, the playful Unbreakable Smile early on showcased her ability to craft out a performance. Tori was using each corner of the stage and the crowd were responding with their own awe struck positive energy.
Given her album has not yet been released there were a lot new songs in the set, something Tori was quick to acknowledge. She managed to craft a sense of knowing anticipation by mixing the old with the new in a kind of buy one get one fashion and you’d have never have known the songs were unfamiliar as her fans lapped up the new music with joy.
Indeed, she mixed up musical styles with ease, the still and calming Beautiful Thing was captivating; the subtle strumming of the electric guitar was a nice compliment to her acoustic guitar. A medley of acoustically sung covers, a direct throwback to her most popular YouTube videos; Suit & Tie, PYT, Thinking About Forever was a chance for a micro-party-interlude within the wider show (side note: it also once again shows what a cracking record Frank Ocean wrote; so easy to pile heaps of personality in to while staying true to the original).
Song of the evening was Funny, a heart-warming tale about life and what it kinda means. Written with Claude Kelly, Tori sung like a song with a lot of personal meaning.
A cover of Seal’s Crazy was patently bold with Tori able to let rip towards the end. Watching her on stage she just looks so comfortable. Like this was all so easy. An explosive rendition of Should’ve Been Us closed out the main set and the audience was quick to start loud chants of “Tori, Tori, Tori” for her to re-appear to a deafening roar.
With time left for a few songs including crowd favourite, Dear No One. Her current single, Nobody Love, was a fitting climax to a solid evening of pop music. Tori Kelly appears to be flying right now. If the release of her album goes as well as her show at the Regency she may not be coming down any time soon!
3 thoughts on “Gig Review & Photos: Tori Kelly at Regency Ballroom, San Francisco – June 2015”
Rob, these are great! I always wanted to get into photography like this (Music Photography)! (Coincidence) I’m assuming you use a telephoto lense or special kind of lense to zoom in! Any tips for me?
Hey Bee, sorry for the delayed response. Thanks for the nice words, had a bit of a metering malfunction that night so luckily I was able to save a few. I generally don’t use a long telephoto lens so I always try to get to the front. Big venues like the Regency have a photo pit however it can be tricky to get a photo-pass. Tips would be start small (so local acts in small venues/backs of pubs), get close and always respect the people around you. Been meaning to write a post on gig photography for ages now… think I might try and find the time to do so!
Hey Rob, thats totally fine! Things happen but yeah that makes sense to get close the front. I want to definately start small. And no problem. .thank you for the advice!