Governors Ball: Kehlani’s scene is sexy and stimulating | Arts
On the first night of Governors Ball 2021, Kehlani put all his heart and soul into his greatest performance so far this year. As the reverberating bass rumbled, the earworm hook of his 2016 hit “Gangsta” got fans singing along to “I Need a Gangsta / To Love Me Better.” The all-female group and backup dancers took to the stage to rock the crowd, looking stunning and powerful all in white. The icon herself took to the stage just as the beat was dropping, driving the crowd wild and starting the night on the right note. Kehlani looked ethereal and graceful, with only her neck and arms exposed. The outfit accentuated its colorful array of sleeve tattoos.
This elegant sensuality carried over into all aspects of her performance, from the setlist to the stage. As the colorful LED wall display in the background digitally altered her appearance, turning her into swirls of smoke that flew up with the melody, Kehlani herself perfectly switched between dance and song. âI’m going to get my knees high for all of you,â she said, slowly dipping to the beat of songs like âCan You Blame Meâ and âCRZYâ as jets of air shot from the stage. After sending a series of prayers and good wishes to Cardi B, Kehlani also gave a lively rendition of âRingâ.
While the energy peaked at those times, Kehlani toned it down to his more emotional low-key signing style for the majority of his set.
âI know you all want to go to a festival, but you all know I make R&B music, don’t you? She said, before serenading the crowd to the lo-fi beats of “Hate the Club”, “The Way” and “Everybody Business”. The thematic lines of these songs like “Finna get antisocial on ya” facilitated the sonic transition from optimism to relaxation. The interactive scene also matched the audio, with a 1968 Pontiac Firebird rolling across the screen behind Kehlani as she sang âI buy myself fast carsâ on the track âGood Thingâ. She also teased her upcoming sixth project, âBlue Water Road,â a week after releasing her single, âAltar,â dedicating the song as a heartfelt message to loved ones who have passed away but continue to walk among us in spirit. . The smoke machine and spark fountains create a magical ambience, complementing the introspective ambience.
As at the right time, the sunset cast a rosy hue to complete the intimate ambience. Putting on sunglasses, Kehlani bathed in the golden hour glow, making sure to put his band in the spotlight as well, with individual spotlights and instrumental riffs that made all the talented musicians stand out. Kehlani also took the time to interact with his friends as often as possible, turning the scene from left to right. She touted her performance with a nod of hips and a shrug, putting the crowd to work – which drew many teary eyes and teary smiles from the frontline fans she graced with a wink or smile. In her performance of “I Like Dat”, she even involved fans in a collective dance lesson on T-Pain’s “crank that” movement. “I don’t know if you all know I know you all know I’m super gay,” she said, then devoted “Honey” to all the gays in the crowd.
The crowd witnessed a magical performance by Kehlani this Friday night, who set up a stage that not only stayed true to her R&B roots, but also presented herself as a natural performer in a league of their own.
– Editor-in-chief Alisa S. Regassa can be contacted at [email protected]