Daniel Caesar w/ Jhene Aiko
The Crocodile, Seattle, WA

It’s easy to get lost in a massive lineup like Bumbershoot. So when Daniel Caesar played day two at KeyArena, he didn’t seem to make much of a splash. I heard everything from “it was a spiritual experience” to “it was so bad we just left,” but when his show at The Crocodile sold out so quickly, decided it was worth another shot.

As the crowd slowly trickled in and Jhene Aiko finished her set, the noise and excitement levels were high in anticipation for Daniel Caesar.

As he opened with “Japanese Denim” and the crowd sang every word, it quickly became clear how great the night was shaping up to be. One of the fun things about shows that get sold out as quickly as this one, is that it forces most of the crowd to be some of his most dedicated fans who jumped on those ticket websites right when they were released. In turn, it makes the night incredible because not only do you get Caesar’s live performance, but also the echo and love of everyone around you.

Next up was “Best Part,” which features H.E.R pretty heavily throughout. So without her there, Caesar chose to sang the H.E.R parts in the first half of the track, and wonderfully, and then fed the lyrics to the crowd line by line for us to sing back in later verses. And as stunning as H.E.R’s voice is, few things beat hearing roughly 550 people sing those words back.

It may seem like a small thing, but one of the best parts of Daniel Caesar’s set was the fact that he actually genuinely sang all of his songs. That sound’s like a given, you buy concert tickets to see an artist perform their music, but all too often that’s just not really the case anymore. Most of the R&B concerts especially tend to feature artists that sound fantastic on their album, and then when they perform live just yell/speak half the song, and ‘let the crowd sing’ the rest of it, leaving it mostly empty music. Caesar on the other hand was so into his set, sang every word just as beautifully as he did on his records, and the crowd definitely appreciated it.

Closing his set all too quickly, he capped off the night with “Get You” as everyone sang the chorus roughly 100 times, loving it just as much with each repetition.

Bringing his warm voice to a sold out show at The Crocodile for the night, Daniel Caesar proved that his killer tracks weren’t just studio magic. Laidback in a sweatshirt and trackpants, he sang every note of every word, happily smiling at the crowd as everyone sang along.

Review and photos by Lulu Dawson

Daniel Caesar