Lewis Capaldi Embarked On First Ever U.S. Headline Tour At The Troubadour THOUGHTS+PHOTOS: Lewis Capaldi @ Troubadour 6/6/18
LOS ANGELES, CA- Not every voice can sing a sad song. Just because you can read music and sing in tune, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can properly emote the pain and heartache embedded in the lyrics. But some voices are tailor made espouse the sentiments that pull on all your heartstrings. Lewis Capaldi has one of those voices.
A little over a year ago, on March 31, 2017, Capaldi dropped his first single “Bruises”. With it’s plainspoken lyrics of longing, Lewis’ raspy voice fully emotes all of ache in every lyric. There’s a visceral pain that the listener feels when he shouts:
“There must be something in the water,
‘Cause every day it’s getting colder,
And if only I could hold you,
You’d keep my head from going under.”
Those feelings … those human feelings … are universal, and the song connected instantly with an audience, amassing over 63 million plays on Spotify (as of June 14th, 2018) .
Almost instantly, Capaldi was in high demand and he found himself supporting top-line artists like Rag N Bone Man and Sam Smith even before his 5 song EP, Bloom, was released in addition to being heralded as an artist to watch by tastemakers like Vevo and BBC Music, not to mention a slew of UK recording artists. It’s be some kind of year for Capaldi, and he took the next step in his evolution as an artist by embarking on his first headlining tour of the United States with a performance at the legendary Troubadour.
As soon as the “chubby singer who sings sad songs” started to make his way to the stage walking down the steps from the upstairs green room, the sold out venue erupted in cheers. Fans- who were mostly young ladies- were eagerly waiting for this UK troubadour to woo and break their hearts in the intimate venue.
Because Capaldi has only released one four song EP and two singles, a good portion of the setlist was unknown to me. Apparently, I seemed to be the only one in the room who didn’t know the unreleased songs. Everywhere I looked, for literally every song, released and unreleased, his fans were singing along or mouthing every lyric, staring contemplatively at the singer who stood there amidst the multicolored lights of the venue.
Although all of the songs were about heartache or self-doubt, Capaldi would ease the heaviness in the room between songs to chat briefly about his recent experiences touring with Sam Smith while sipping from a beer to loosen the nerves. He didn’t crack too many smiles, but when he did (like when he assured the audience that Jesse Reyez would not be accompanying him on this evening for “Rush”), it was like a breath of fresh air which reset the spirit in the room before delving again into his emotions again.
As I watched and listened to Lewis sing, I had shivers run down my spine as he pulled from his diaphram to belt out high notes. There was a real sense of tender frailty in his voice; a sense that at any moment his voice would give out to leave him even more broken than the lyrics would have him otherwise. But his voice is and was strong, and he powered through each melody, tap into the universal truth that … well … love can suck, and make us sad, but if it’s going to suck and make us sad, we can at least be sad together, and it’s all going to be ok in the end.
Lewis wraps up the U.S. leg of his tour later this month in New York with additional spot festival dates later in the year, but here’s to hoping that his official debut album is well on its way to completion as I personally can’t wait to have him break my heart again.