A new sort of pop star is emerging — she’s brownish, she’s nuanced, she’s an outsider taking a seat at the table. Not relying on the tropes of past successes, these audacious women are breaking the pop perception on their own terms tapping into a fan base who’ve desperately wanted to associate. Two such women, Kali Uchis and Jorja Smith, did just that and then some when they took to the Fillmore Auditorium Saturday night. Uchis’ Chicana pin-up attraction alongside Smith’s introspectively jazzy vibes waved a middle finger and brought the outsiders.
Opening with “Teenage Fantasy,” Smith slowed down the tempo — focusing on setting a mood. As ice melting through one ’ s fingers her voice, floating atop her cadences that are jazz-inspired was smooth. Compared to the swelter of Uchis’ set, Smith’s was a well-needed cooldown. Covering much of last year’s Lost & Found, Smith stirred up the feelings of the packed house, cutting deep as her voice soared. Tender minutes of near silence pierced through “Goodbyes” while “Where Did I Go? ” exhumed emotions amidst the shuffling feet to the tune ’s steady beat. The audience sang along with Smith to the point where it felt like a backing choir to songs like “Blue Lights” and “February 3rd. ” Closed eyes and heads took it all in and singing left the experience feeling. Closing her set into the buoyant “On My Mind,” Smith then proceeded to bring Kali Uchis out for the encore.
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