Miguel - Red Bull Sound Space - 3/11/13
Red Bull Sound Space
Better Than: The nose bleed section at Staples Center.
A Miguel concert is something like if strip clubs held church services during happy hour. "Take your shirt off! It's hot in here!" someone yelled at him, with the same fervor as an "amen."
The show's congregants at Red Bull Sound Space at Amp Radio in mid-city wore leopard print shoes, acid washed skinny jeans, and bright colored leggings. The intimate, 150 person showcase featured just five songs, and was a warm-up of sorts for the breakout R&B singer's show opening for Alicia Keys tonight at Staples Center. But someone forgot to tell Miguel's musicians that they weren't in a stadium. The thrashing drums of "Strawberry Amazing" were particularly intense.
Miguel, meanwhile, did an ambitious spin move that knocked over the mic stand, and left the microphone on the floor. He soldiered on, however, channeling a rock and roll persona that has only been suggested in his works All I Want Is You (2010) and Kaleidscope Dream (2012), through churchy call and response chants, soaring falsettos, and lightening fast splits.
The bluesy outro of "Sure Thing" led into "Thrill," which had distorted guitar jabs and stutter step rhythms and caused exhilarated convulsions from the performer. He got rid of the mic stand and dropped to the floor, overwhelmed with emotion.
He untied the button up shirt that was around his waist and threw it to the floor, and his seductive cooing in "Use Me" foreshadowed more sexiness -- he later lifted the bottom of his thin white t-shirt (with tiny holes at the bottom) to screams. Though he's undoubtedly a serious artist, Miguel knows the power of the six pack.
He closed with his hit "Adorn," though he mostly served as a karaoke guide while the crowd sang along. Before departing he flashed his charming smile, capable of wooing almost every woman in the audience.
Personal bias: I'm a sucker for underdogs, especially ones who wear faux pompadours and pretty blouses in their videos.
Overheard In The Crowd: One fan desperately urged Miguel to "Collaborate with me!" It wasn't clear if this collabo would be musical or sexual in nature.
Random Notebook Dump: The attractive, Latino dominated crowd erupted in applause when Miguel spoke in fluent Spanish while discussing his Mexican father.
Set list below