Khalid’s freshman album American Teen (RCA, 2017) has only been out for a few months, but the Texan R&B artist has already garnered critical praise as well as a platinum single (“Location”) from the debut. Since emerging in 2016, Khalid has also collaborated with the likes of Alina Baraz, Alessia Cara and Logic, Calvin Harris, and most recently DJ/producer Marshmello—only further solidifying his rising power in mainstream music. For those paying attention, it’s clear that Khalid is not only the “need to know” artist of 2017, he’s a tour de force (a fact which the opening sequence of his live act, a series of audio/news clips mentioning the singer’s rise to fame, reiterates).
Sunday, Khalid’s sold out tour stopped in New York City for the first of two nights at Terminal 5. There is something surreal about the anticipation of waiting for Khalid to grace the stage with his presence—it is a kind of hysteria matched by waves of elation and nerves. When Khalid’s face emerges from the shadows, there's a sense of excitement and sheer joy on his face—it tells of an unspoken respect and gratitude that he shares with his fans as he attempts to give the same performance to those camped out in the front of the room as he does to those buried in the deepest nooks of the venue.
While there’s nothing intimate about his show, there’s a very real passion that resonates among each member of the audience. At points in the performance, it’s hard to hear Khalid’s voice over the word-for-word sing-along happening in the crowd—songs like “Young Dumb & Broke” and “8TEEN” are among the obvious fan favorites. As a whole, the performance is transcendental; it feels like the studio recording of the album (on key and on point) mixed with impeccably infectious dance moves that look like a well-choreographed music video.
While the remainder of his U.S. tour is sold out, be sure to stay posted on all things Khalid at khalidofficial.com.