Over the weekend, Kali Uchis and Jorja Smith kicked off their highly-anticipated co-headline tour at The Anthem in Washington, D.C.
The new tour follows unprecedented years for Uchis and Smith following their respective major label debuts in 2018. Although the two would eventually join forces toward the end of the night to cover Destiny’s Child‘s “Bills, Bills, Bills” and perform their iconic collab, “Tyrant,” both delivered world-class and wildly different headlining sets, providing a unique and exquisite juxtaposition of sounds and emotions.
Dior Beauty‘s newest makeup ambassador took the stage first to an ear-shattering welcome. Donning a silk blue dress and white corset, Jorja’s sudden presence and the opening notes of “Teenage Fantasy” immediately silenced thousands intent on hearing each sultry note roaring out of Smith with compelling conviction. Performing tracks from her critically-acclaimed debut album, Lost & Found, the British singer-songwriter quickly capitalized on the show’s growing momentum by playing her track, “Where Did I Go?” and eventually the album’s title track.
As the night continued, Jorja’s beautiful guitar-led rendition of “Goodbyes” echoed through our souls as a frank reminder of untimely endings. It was in that very moment that Jorja’s lyrical prowess and mighty voice completely floored us. Following a few more cuts from Lost & Found, the opening notes of “Blue Lights” teased an insatiable crowd until D.C. got to hear one of 2018’s biggest sleeper hits. Before anyone could return to earth from a soaring high, Jorja Smith was strutting across the stage while running through her inescapable “On My Mind” collaboration with Preditah.
Although there truly is nothing like hearing Jorja perform her biggest singles, the closing notes of “On My Mind” signified the end of a set that simply was not long enough. While we all know Jorja Smith is a headliner in her own right, her unbelievable blend of neo-soul, R&B, and alt-pop sounded incredible while supported by a live band, and made it undoubtedly clear that we need to see Jorja Smith in concert again as soon as humanly possible. Stream Jorja Smith’s Lost & Found on Spotify while reading on about Kali Uchis.
After a scrambling beer run to one of The Anthem’s nine bars, Colombian goddess and DMV native Kali Uchis came straight for the damn jugular. Appearing atop a rounded set of white steps, Uchis made her descent upon D.C. while playing the tongue-in-cheek “Dead To Me” from her debut album, Isolation. Without missing a beat, we then got a taste of Kali’s Steve Lacy collab, “Just A Stranger” which had everyone singing “she wants my hundred dollar bills / she don’t want love” in unison.
As Kali’s performance continued, it was increasingly evident we were experiencing a show unlike anything else. The crystals, chains, and diamonds adorning the singer’s bodysuit shook uncontrollably as Kali moved her hips to the beat and got everyone else dancing their own jewels off. We’d soon after receive live cuts of “Your Teeth In My Neck,” “Nuestro Planeta” featuring Reykon, and “Killer” from Isolation. Unbeknownst to all, the surprises were just starting.
While perched on the very steps that opened an insane set, Kali Uchis proceeded to deliver a stripped cover of Radiohead‘s “Creep” that was so good, others should really take a break from covering the iconic track. As Kali continued to play a majority of her new album, the singer also brought everyone back to her self-released 2015 Por Vida album and later gave Spanish-speaking fans an immediate heart attack with her cover of Don Omar‘s iconic 2004 single, “Pobre Diabla.” We’re still screaming over the latter moment.
With a co-headlining show’s imminent end approaching, Kali Uchis did not give us exactly what we wanted. She gave us more. The response to Jorja Smith’s sudden reappearance on The Anthem stage could’ve been mistaken for a riot. But, even with just minutes left, both artists were committed to making the night unforgettable. Kali Uchis & Jorja Smith quickly delivered a cover of “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child before rolling into their 2018 track, “Tyrant,” leaving us in complete awe and searching for tickets to rest of their tour.
Washington, D.C. was lucky enough to see this unbelievable show first but Kali Uchis & Jorja Smith still have an entire month of shows confirmed in New York, Atlanta, Miami, LA, and beyond. See the full tour dates below while streaming Isolation by Kali Uchis and be sure to grab your tickets today.
April 30 — Philadelphia, PA — The Fillmore
May 01 — Boston, MA — Agganis
May 03 — New York, NY — The Theater at Madison Square Garden
May 06 — Atlanta, GA — Coca-Cola Roxy
May 08 — Miami, FL — The Fillmore at The Jackie Gleason
May 10 — Houston, TX — Revention Music Center
May 11 — Irving, TX — The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory
May 14 — Los Angeles, CA — Greek Theatre
May 17 — Santa Barbara, CA — Santa Barbara Bowl
May 18 — Stanford, CA — Frost Amphitheatre
May 20 — Seattle, WA — WaMu Theater
May 22 — Vancouver, BC — PNE Forum
May 24 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex – Rockwell
May 25 — Denver, CO — Fillmore Auditorium
May 28 — Chicago, IL — Aragon Ballroom
May 30 — Toronto, ON — RBC Echo Beach