July 17, 2018, will always be a night to remember, as Sam Smith graced the Smoothie King Center with his heartfelt and soulful performance. The crowd roared with emotion and excitement when Sam rose from the stage. Trying to keep our spirits high, he assured the audience that he understood how “depressing” his music can be, but wanted to make sure that we all had an amazing time—and that is exactly what we did. Certainly, in all of our feelings, we enjoyed every smile, tear, and squeal of the night.
The arena was filled with fans hungry for the vocals of Sam Smith, and he did not disappoint. It is always nice to hear musicians sound as amazing live as they do on their album, and with Sam Smith, his live performance was even better.
For many fans, the night was not so much about the music winning them over because he had already done that. That night we got to see his charismatic personality, his honest nature and love, and the influence of soul, jazz, and R&B on his music. With his request of an audience participated two-step, it’s obvious that soul runs through Sam Smith's bones.
As a person who is notorious for sad songs, his humble, yet confident personality gave a positive twist to each emotionally charged track. Sam belted out many fan favorites, including fast-paced tracks from his first album like “Money On My Mind” as well as heartfelt and emotionally charged tracks like “Burning” from his 2017 album The Thrill of It All (which is a track that Sam has admitted to being the most emotional song for him to sing).
Along with stunning the crowd, Sam had many messages along the way. One of those messages came from a very personal song titled, “HIM.” The song represents so many things for so many people. Sam ended the song by bellowing out, “I’m a proud gay man,” with beautiful rainbow lights illuminating the stage behind him.
After making us happy, sad, excited, and even thrilled, Sam exited, only to hop back onto the stage with a 3-song encore that included a personal favorite song, “Pray.”
His performance was exceptional. He makes the kind of music to listen to after a heartbreak, but the stage performance would show otherwise. Sam moved about the stage, he made three wardrobe changes, he danced, and he highlighted his band and backup vocalists, who danced as well. There was nothing sad about the night. It was a celebration of a beautiful musician with beautiful music. And all had a beautiful time.