The energy was tangible walking into the packed, sold-out House of Blues.
The night got off to an early start with Yung Pinch opening the show. With long, lush locks accenting his every move, he kept the crowd engaged and pumped. At point, he even sprays the crowd with a water bottle, eliciting a round of screams from the audience. He played some of his more popular songs including “When I Was Yung” and “Rock With Us.” For an event called One’s To Watch, Yung Pinch is one to keep on your radar.
Next up was Lil Aaron. With long, teal-tipped locks kept like curtains over his face, and decked in head-to-toe black, Lil Aaron gave off all the angsty vibes reminiscent of 2007’s From First To Last with a sound an interesting mix of rock and heavy electronic. The most notable song if his set was the song “Drugs,” which also sums his set in a nutshell.
Another up-and-coming artist to watch is ELHAE. Arguably one of the best performances of the night from the 5-artist show, ELHAE captured the audience with his electric energy. The artist owned the stage as well as any seasoned performer and will no doubt be headlining his own tour very soon. He showed off his smooth voice as he crooned over hype-y tunes such as “It’s Not A Race,” “Hartley Bridge” and “Needs.”
With each new artist, the audience grew more restless with the anticipation of Blackbear. This restless vibe was alive and well during Blackbear-collaborator 24hr’s set. The productions were taken to a new level as the previously dark gray box behind him lit up with music videos and other interactive graphics during his set. Dressed in a floor-length hooded coat and gold-chains, 24hr’s set had as much personality as his onstage persona. The set ended with songs “Malibu” and “Moodz”, sans Blackbear.
The time finally arrived for the headlining act to take the stage. The light box was taken apart in favor of videos on the large screen behind him. Before taking the stage, a DJ set up on the side of the stage introduced himself and began to try pump the crowd up to a new level but nothing but Blackbear himself would please this crowd by now.
With a dark stage, Blackbear rushed the stage in a glow mask, launching right into his set. Having dropped a new album a month before, Blackbear’s set was rich was the slower-tempo-ed songs of the new album. Song’s like “hell is where i dreamt of you and woke up alone” and “miss the old you” dominated the set. Blackbear played one his more popular songs from the album, “do re mi” before exiting the stage once more. During a presumed outfit change, the DJ once more played tracks such as “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar and throwback hits such as N*Sync.
Blackbear appeared once more. “Double” rang out over the crowd to cheers. With no Blackbear set complete without “90210,” he creatively did a surf-inspired acoustic medley of his classic, otherwise high-energy hits. All the while, beautiful graphics and videos illuminated the stage behind him. Finishing with “IDFC” and “Chateau,” Blackbear concluded an incredible, unexpectedly slower set.