Kali Uchis Concert Review: Lush Yet Underwhelming

Kali Uchi

By Sindoos Awel

Although Kali Uchis gained notability by being featured on the works of artists like Kaytranada, Tyler the Creator and Snoop Dogg, her real talent deserved to be showcased in the spotlight alone. This American-Colombian artist has no full albums released yet, only an EP, Por Vida, that was released in 2015 and a few, sporadic singles released between then and now. Therefore, a short set was expected at the concert, and artists that usually have no full albums out yet elongate their set by being creative and adding covers of songs or having multiple openers.

Phony Ppl opened for Kali; the group had an infectious, energetic presence, despite their awkwardly short set. Amidst waiting for Kali to come out after their performance, that energy was lost. Uchis took nearly two hours before she graced us with her presence, as a concert goer near me said, “Kali doesn’t have the clout like Lauryn Hill to be doing this.” (Referencing to Hill’s habits of appearing extremely late to her shows, and I couldn’t help but agree.) This is Uchis’ first headlining tour and despite being fairly talented for her young age, she shouldn’t have waited as long as she did to enter the stage. There is a threshold of how much time is appropriate and what is downright disrespectful to people’s time in between sets, especially since there was no need for equipment change since Phony Ppl were the instrumentalists for her songs.

Her set, unfortunately, didn’t compensate for the delayed entrance. Kali performed approximately 7 songs and with songs that gained the most recognition like Tyrant and Nuestro Planeta, there was essentially no anticipation built within the crowd. Essentially, the energy from the crowd, which was extremely enthusiastic was not matched by Kali’s soft, mellow tone. Since most of her music is serene and intimate, she should have brought down the crowd along with the music, yet she struggled to command the audience in alignment with the ambience of the music making for an uncomfortable experience. Despite lacking a strong stage presence, Kali was an exceptional performer whose amorous movements aligned perfectly with her sensuous music. After completing her tour, Kali will be joining Jhene Aiko and Lana Del Rey in North American Tour for the winter of 2018.

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