Miguel at the PNE Forum, 02/24/18
There is smooth, and then there is Miguel. He is just a handful of dates into his War & Leisure Tour, and already it is a profound understatement to say the Los Angeles resident is in regular season form. Hell, Miguel is making a strong case for playoff MVP with just five of his scheduled 35 tour dates under his tasselled belt.
Hot on the heels of his fourth studio release – his first in over two years – the “Pineapple Skies” artist is taking no prisoners with War & Leisure, however, he may just take your girlfriend, and she may never come back.
On the road to spread the word of his December 1 album drop, Miguel is supported on tour by his brother Nonchalant Savant and TDE stand out SiR. Moreover, while Miguel crosses genre borders like lowercase t’s, Nonchalant Savant keeps it positive and incredibly chill while zeroing in on the R&B genre with a dash of reggae influence to open the night. Miguel’s brother did well to fill the giant stage all by himself for much of his set, while SiR and cohorted on keyboard/turntables, contributing to the evening by ramping up both the energy and roster count on stage.
Speaking to the crowd roughly seven minutes into his half an hour set SiR introduced himself to Vancouver for the first time. “My name is SiR from Inglewood, California this is my first time in Vancouver. So, we’re gonna have a good time tonight right?” SiR’s second trip to VanCity is just around the corner when the singer returns to Lotus Land on the TDE Championship Tour in May.
While SiR’s performance most certainly won the PNE Forum crowd over, the artist just could not garner the same decibel range of cheers for himself as he did on the three occasions in which he asked the audience if they were ready for Miguel.
Playing a large contingent of his January 2018 release SiR was able to rake in a warm reaction when he surveyed the crowd regarding his new LP. “How many of y’all got that November?”
Miguel did the unprecedented and started his show slightly early. Opening with a recording of his song “Now” (War & Leisure), Miguel began the night with a heartwarming video pleading for compassion over prison sentences. The tear-jerker of a video concluded with a message that read partial proceeds from Miguel’s merchandise would be going to help end cruel and unjust immigrant prisons.
Miguel would go on to perform an hour and forty-five-minute set that would expertly showcase his voice, dance skills, charm, charisma and philosophies, all while putting a stamp on his heartthrob status. Opening the night with an impressive light show to the first track off of his latest LP “Criminal,” Miguel had the audience in the palm of his hands from the jump.
Even when the 32-year-old called for silence, his adoring fan base would scream back at him. Several times throughout the night Miguel would ask the crowd to repeat back “swish swish,” a phrase he and his band have taken up as an indication that things are going well.
Miguel maintained a healthy positivity while he performed his guts out throughout the night. Part Michael Jackson, part Prince with a dash of old-school Axl Rose, Miguel is both talented and skilled. The R&B singer does an excellent job of balancing an almost family-friendly candour while still exuding and encouraging an abundance of sexuality with a constant sex-positive undertone to his performance.
There are few people in the entertainment industry currently that can effectively convince almost every female in the crowd of thousands to scream out loud, ”I want to fuck all night” with reckless abandon the way Miguel is so casually able to.
With one final track left before his encore, Miguel knew that he did not have to twist the crowd’s arm when launching into the first single from War and Leisure. “It’s all ‘Pineapple Skies’ from here, man.”
Closing the night with a lone track for his encore, Miguel returned to the stage by simply saying, “You know I’m not going to leave without ‘Sky Walker,’ one time.”
If Saturday night’s performance in Vancouver was a display of this larger-than-life artist just getting warmed up on the War & Leisure Tour, then let this be a warning gentlemen: you might want to accompany your partner to Miguel’s current tour. That or lock up your mothers, daughters and sisters. Because on this tour, “Harem” threatens to not only be the name of one of Miguel’s songs. #CompassionNotPrisons