American singer, songwriter, actress, and dancer Hayley Kiyoko brought her Expectations Tour through Vancouver last night, performing to a sold-out Vogue Theatre.
Opening the show was local three-piece music outfit I M U R, who label themselves as R&B Future Bass. Their set was whimsical and fun, with some ethereal soundscapes mixed in. The eager audience was captivated by their set, cheering and screaming throughout. The lead singer, Jenny Lea, was a force on that stage. She earned the audience with hard work and a very personal delivery, unafraid to commit to her performance and deliver a piece of herself in every movement and note.
The pre-heated crowd was ready for the headliner.
The stage was cleared, giving ample space for Ms. Kiyoko.
Soon the house lights dimmed and she emerged from behind the side-stage curtain. A few of the girls in the front row were so overwhelmed, happy tears began streaming down their faces.
Hayley was commanding. She moved around the stage with ferocity, a microphone clenched in one hand and the other waving and pumping purposefully through the air as if it carried a baton to guide her own flowing delivery.
She was clearly having fun. The smiles and laughter and happiness could be seen from the back of the room.
Watching someone perform with that much joy in their heart is enthralling. It draws you in and keeps you focused on the performance as it becomes contagious. That joy spread through the venue like a welcome virus. I even caught one of the big burly security guards at the back of the house just staring, grinning, and rocking his head rhythmically.
The American singer kept things moving along quite quickly, with only a few pauses between songs to speak her truths with the fans. She spoke of relationships and personal moments, adding an intimacy to the evening.
In retrospect, I was caught off guard by the performance. I honestly didn’t know much about the artist aside from the few singles from her recently-released debut album Expectations that have been permeating the airwaves for the last few months. I went in without knowledge of her dance background and just how ravenous her fan base was.
I can say in all certainty that she has a tremendous amount of talent and an inspiring level of joie de vivre. Not only that but she surrounded herself with a great band that was able to bring their own personality and excitement to the stage.
For those that were there at the Vogue Theatre last night, I don’t really have to tell you that you saw something special. The type of show that everyone needs to help shake loose from the day-to-day hustle and just be elated and in the moment.
For those that weren’t there, you missed out. Next time, don’t make that mistake again.
Thank you to both bands for an amazing night out.
I hope to see you in Vancouver again in the near future.