Rationale Brings Some British Pop Vibes to NYC’s Lower East Side REVIEW+PHOTOS: RATIONALE @ MERCURY LOUNGE 11/8/17
Lower East Side, NY – Zimbabwe-born, British singer Rationale rarely ventures to the United States. However, I was lucky enough on November 8th to attend his only NYC performance at the sold-out Mercury Lounge as part of his current tour, in sync with the recent release of his self-titled album Rationale.
When there are people lined up outside of a venue more than 30 minutes prior to doors opening, you know that the artist is pretty special. His performance definitely did not disappoint. Backed by a drummer, bassist, guitarist, and a man on the keys, Rationale came out to a roaring ovation from the tightly packed room and jumped right into making them dance wildly throughout the night.
His music is considered to be a blend of indie pop with electronic influences. Rationale controlled those electro-beats in the midst of some groovy footwork and impeccable singing. His vocals were incredibly strong live, and took me a bit off-guard with the range he was able to display. It’s always a pleasure to discover that an artist sounds as good as- if not better- live than their recordings.
He started the concert with a powerful song from the album, called “Fuel to the Fire”, which he actually performed the next night on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The rest of the set-list mixed songs from the new album and his previous releases. Fans attending the show seemed to know the words to every song as they were singing along from the very first verse. Acknowledging that, Rationale was very engaged with the audience. At various points of the show he’d encourage the crowd to keep dancing and singing; to get really into the rhythms. When he’d get up close and personal, the front row ladies all swooned as he sang directly into their eyes.
One of the most pleasant takeaways I have from seeing Rationale perform, was how much it appeared that he and his band-mates enjoyed being on that stage. He was smiling during the entire show and the guys behind him were laughing and genuinely looked like they were having a blast. That kind of camaraderie on stage really demonstrates that this artist really cares about his performance and that he wanted to be there for all of the people who came out to see him that night.
If he’s ever back in the US, going to see him is a must. You’ll have a great night of dancing and grooving and you’ll get to bear witness to a really wonderful singer light up the stage with his undeniable charisma.