Review: Brent Faiyaz 2/09 at Union Stage

Maliyah Grant

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Brent Faiyaz succeeded in selling out the DC show on his tour, filling Union Stage, a fairly new venue with excited fans. While at first impatient, expressing disdain for having to wait for his appearance with comments like “I wish he didn‰’t have an opener,‰” or “I‰’m just here for Brent,‰” the crowd became immediately enamored when Diana Gordon took the stage. Diana performed while capturing the audience with intimate stories of her estranged family and unconventional background, speaking on the selfishness of her sister, the absence of her father, and her raising her younger brothers. Undoubtedly, the most emotional story Diana shared detailed her reuniting with her brother after 16 years apart, when she found him homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. Seeing an artist dedicate the entirety of a creative a project to their family was not only heartwarming, but it evoked feelings of nostalgia, as most can relate to the emotions arisen from her lyrics. Diana, credited for writing with BeyoncÌ© on Lemonade, was a powerful force and a perfect opener for Faiyaz‰’s tour.

In contrast to Diana, Brent entered the stage with no introduction, letting the music speak for itself as he opened with a very fitting song for a DMV performance, “Home‰Û. And when the Maryland native proclaimed to the crowd that DC was his favorite city in the world they responded “We already know!!‰Û

Bringing back all the energy of 90s R&B that is so rare to find in 2018, he emulated the classic sounds of the genre that hasn‰’t always remained on the top charts, but will always remain in our hearts. If anyone in the audience at Union Stage previously thought studio tricks like autotune could take the credit for his falsetto, they were proven wrong. When one of his best tracks began with the words, “you‰’re missing out,‰” repeated through the speakers, I thought of all the disappointed faces that clicked the link to purchase a ticket only to realize the show quickly sold out, as they were the ones truly missing out.

As I peeped the couples in the crowd and the men who grabbed their girlfriends closer as Brent headed to their side of the stage and offered out his hand to hold, I couldn‰’t help but feel like I was in a movie out of the pure disbelief that I witnessed something so clichÌ©. Though it felt unreal at moments, I was brought back to reality as Brent cut his songs off midway to drink water, explaining that he got a little too ‰smacked‰’ before the show to a crowd that cheered and laughed in response as some could probably relate. Dedicating “Burn One‰” to all the smokers in the crowd was a worthy choice as all around they knew every lyric to belt back. When he exited the stage disappointment fell among the faces of many wondering why it had to be over, only to come back on stage because of course, how could he do a show in Goldlink‰’s city without playing Grammy nominated song, “Crew‰Û?

If anyone hasn‰’t checked out his full length album Sonder Son, you‰’re unfamiliar with the feeling of your “heart jumping like jordans‰” the way his tracks incite. Already selling out his tour, Brent Faiyaz is a name that will not go ignored.

Find more on Brent Faiyaz here

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Review: Brent Faiyaz 2/09 at Union Stage