Frank Ocean: New York City Show Gives Him Second Chance
Twenty one days after he abruptly canceled his highly anticipated debut performance in New York City, Frank Ocean showcased his lyrical stylings for an eager crowd at Bowery Ballroom Sunday night (Nov. 27).
Appearing onstage shortly after 9:30PM, the Odd Future affiliate stepped out in his signature red-and-white bandana and a black suit jacket. As he walked his way onto a floral-printed rug beneath his feet, the 24-year-old kicked off his set with a cover of Sade‘s ‘By Your Side.’ Though his initial concert in the Big Apple never happened due to vocal issues, his crooning didn’t falter here nor elsewhere during his hour-plus show.
Ocean, born Christopher Breaux, addressed the crowd as he moved into cuts off his lauded mixtape ‘Nostalgia, Ultra,’ as well as tracks he assisted with on ‘Watch the Throne,’ among new joints.
“I was raised in Louisiana,” he shared with audience members, who held up camera phones and took photos of the singer at lightning speeds. “But I got my heart broken in California. I think about it.” Then came his ode ‘Thinking About You,’ a song artists like Bridget Kelly and Tristan Wilds have taken their turns at singing.
More than 16 songs were showcased throughout the night, from the broken heart-heavy ‘Swim Good’ to the inspirational tune ‘We All Try.’ As he stood in front of the microphone, leaving its place from time to time to give daps to those in the front row, a large digital screen was planted firmly behind him. On it, images flashed across, some of film ‘The NeverEnding Story,’ others of a fetus inside a womb and more of the cartoon ‘Dragon Ball Z.’
“I rep that mighty mighty Wolf Gang,” Ocean announced in the middle of his set. “But I did some outside collaborations.” ‘No Church in the Wild’ and ‘Made in America’ followed, both tracks off Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s ‘Watch the Throne’ effort.
He touched on his ever-popular ‘Novacane,’ ‘Dust,’ ‘Acura Integurl,’ ‘Super Rich Kids’ and a new song with a Prince-esque kind of vibe, ‘Disillusion,’ off his forthcoming album. At one moment, he left the stage without warning and came back sipping on a cup of tea. It was apparent the man of the hour was doing everything in his power to nurse his voice through a show that got a second chance.
‘American Wedding’ offered concert-goers the chance to see Ocean’s Guitar Hero-playing skills when he scooped up a guitar and went in on the video game behind him, reaching a top score while hitting the strings of ‘Hotel California,’ the song of which partly inspired the crooner’s track.
Emotionally charged and refreshing, Ocean gave a promising performance, and even pulled out a piano for an encore as he tapped away on the keys to Beyonce‘s ‘Miss You,’ a song he wrote for her ‘4’ LP. “I love you, Frank,” a woman screamed from the venue balcony as he tickled the ivories for his last song. “I love you, too,” he replied.
Watch Frank Ocean Perform ‘We All Try’
Watch ‘How the Music Industry Changed’