michael kiwanaku

The sold-out crowd filled into Observatory North Park on a crispy cool Thursday night for Michael Kiwanuka’s first time in San Diego.

As the eclectic group awaited his performance patiently the massive room at The Observatory was the perfect setting.  Under dark lighting the band Michael Jabonka (Lead Guitar), Steve Pringle (Piano/Keys), Emily Hooligan & Simone Richards (Backup Vocals), Graham Godfrey (Drums), and Alex Bonfanti (Bass) filled the stage. With a slow deep kick drum and stunning backup vocalist mesmerizing the audience they open their set with “Piano Joint (This Kind of Love) [Intro].” Now completely sucked into what’s happening on stage the man himself Michael KIWANUKA joins his band to share his impressive vocals with us for the first time and finished off the song. Engulfed at this point the band has the entire place locked in. Creating the perfect time for one of hit top songs off his new album “You Ain’t the Problem.” 

Michael Kiwanuka San Diego

Michael told Apple Music “’You Ain’t the Problem’ is a celebration, me loving humans. We forget how amazing we are. Social media’s part of this—all these filters hiding things that we think people won’t like, things we don’t quite fit in. You start thinking this stuff about you is wrong and that you’ve got a problem. You just have to continue being you more, go deeper with yourself’. That’s where the music comes—as opposed to cutting things away and trying to erode what really makes you.”

Michael Kiwanuka San Diego

Nights like this remind me that music is so much more than just noise, it is storytelling, emotion grabbing medicine from vibrations that can uplift and empower each one of us personally.

Thank you, Michael Kiwanuka for stopping by San Diego.

Set List:

Piano Joint [Intro]
Piano Joint
You Ain’t the Problem
I Have Benn Dazed
Black Man in a White World
Rule the World
Tell Me A Tale
Living in Denial
Final Days
Solid Ground


Hard to Say
Home Again
Cold Little Heart
Love and Hate

Words by: Collin Worrel
Photos by: Rachel Frank
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