British singer-songwriter Sam Smith delivered a delicate and dazzling performance Sunday night to a sold out crowd at Fox Theater, charming onlookers with raw emotion while maintaining a poised bravado comparable to a veteran showman.
As one of the hottest emerging voices in the mainstream Top 40 scene, Smith rose to fame in October 2012 as featured vocalist on Disclosure’s breakthrough single “Latch.” He also generated plenty of buzz after revealing the unrequited love who inspired his hit debut album In The Lonely Hour, was a straight man.
Standing at the front of a three-tiered stage accompanied by three backup singers and a five-piece band instrumentalists, Smith whizzed through a one-hour set with lofty falsettos. His brief conversations between tracks felt genuine and personal, apologizing that his debut record is “pretty fucking depressing.” He clarified that only five tracks from that record are about his previous lover, but he is still hopeful to find love one day.
Warm lighting added to a comfortable environment, as Smith belted heartfelt lyrics without appearing overwhelmed by the moment. Occasional spiraling spotlights sparkled like disco balls against the patterned venue ceiling.
He explained that he has a hard time listening to male vocalists, citing Etta James, Beyonce and Whitney Houston as his biggest influences, and then dove into a down-tempo rendition of the latter’s hit track “How Will I Know.”
Peak moments from the evening included an extended rendition of “Money On My Mind / Finally” and a rousing finale with his hit single “Stay With Me.” Smith picked up a bouquet of flowers thrown by a spectator and waved goodbye to the audience, thanking everyone with a promise to return again soon.
The Lonely Hour
Leave Your Lover
I’m Not The Only One
I’ve Told You Now
Like I Can
How Will I Know (Whitney Houston cover)
La La La (Naughty Boy single)
Lay Me Down
Money On My Mind / Finally (extended)
Make It To Me
Stay With Me