Review of Miguel Gig at Brixton Academy
In the not so distant past we posed the question “Whatever happened to RnB?” This was following a whole host of auto-tuned pop hits and a series of less than successful releases from artists harking back to the golden age of the genre. It got so bad, even the queen herself Mary J struggled. But then along came Miguel.
Miguel possessed the kind of swagger not seen since the in-prime Usher and to a lesser degree the smut appeal of Ginuwine. There is a bit more to Miguel than this though. At the start of his short UK Tour, Miguel demonstrates what a showman he is. Bounding across the stage with limitless energy, pulling pose after pose of rock star nature. This was perhaps demonstrated further when bravely he performed a stage dive in to his screaming fans.
This show was largely served off the backdrop of his third studio album Wildheart. The dirty bass and mammoth guitars served as the perfect support to the frenetic performance. But there was the odd respite, as Miguel slowed things down and had fun with his crowd by reliving the slightly more soulful side of his nature. You would be forgiven for not picking out his breakthrough track Sure Thing as Miguel perhaps had most fun here. Twisting and turning the track, breaking up the hooks and adding some surprises, but it definitely worked.
Wildheart is an interesting diversion for Miguel, but one that feels like a natural progression. It explores aspects of emotion and love in a way not many contemporary artists have attempted. Acknowledging the light, uplifting and fairytale elements of love without ignoring the dirtier side you would expect from the RnB maestro.
Miguel also displays various nuances to his make-up showing his masculinity in a lot of his material, not less The Valley. Whilst demonstrating his slightly more sensitive and softer side in the track most will know, Coffee.
Whilst it is plain to see this is all an act, just like in a Prince performance, it gives Miguel license to play. He pulls of the sleaziness in his set, without making the audience feel uncomfortable. He also genuinely demonstrates the sensitive side with realism and never loses credibility.
All of this to one side. The boy can bloody well sing. His singing voice was incredible live and at times when his falsetto rose, you could feel the goosebumps erupt. Miguel offered an enchanting and superb performance that rightfully earned him a rousing encore.
If you get the opportunity, go and see Miguel, I 100% promise, you will not regret it.