Arts, Features

REVIEW: SG Lewis brings chill vibes, big smile to Cambridge venue

British electronic artist SG Lewis performs at The Sinclair in Cambridge Sunday night. LEXI PLINE/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

SG Lewis erupted onto the electronic dance music scene in 2014 with his remix of Jessie Ware’s “You & I (Forever),” and over the last four years, the 24 year old has racked up an impressive following with over 2 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Soon enough, city by city, everyone will learn of the currently touring British producer, DJ and singer.

Lewis has been making moves within the music industry. He has produced and collaborated with an abundance of artists, some of whom include G-Eazy, Gallant, NYLO and Clairo.

This summer, he released “Hurting,” a single featuring electronic pop duo AlunaGeorge. The catchy song quickly became a summer hit, and Lewis took one step closer to becoming a household name.

At Lewis’ packed performance at The Sinclair in Cambridge Sunday, it was evident that he already has a significant fan base.  

All aspects of the night felt balanced. The audience was young but mature, many drinking, but not in excess. The venue was intimate without feeling crowded, and the energy was just right. It was exactly the recipe for a successful Sunday electronic dance show.

Lewis walked onto stage with a smile that lit up the room. He was joined by two other men: a bassist-pianist and a drummer. Within seconds of playing, the audience instantly started dancing to the atmospheric, groovy electronic music. It seemed almost impossible to stand still. The chill yet electric beats were mesmerizing, swaying the audience left and right.

The band and Lewis produced a feeling of familiarity, almost as if the audience was watching their friends play a gig.

The ensemble was young, casual and comfortable, which perfectly matched the description of the audience. Neither party was expecting anything crazy from the other — just a dance break before the stress that would come with the week ahead.

After playing for 10 minutes, Lewis finally introduced himself and his fellow bandmates on stage, including his two backup singers. After that, it was back to jamming out. The music, to Lewis, was more important than him. The music was the star.

The set list all flowed into one long song, and there were no breaks or breathers for the band. The talent of Lewis and his ensemble is unquestionable, but their stage presence has room to grow.

At moments, it felt as if they were all jamming alone and just happened to be on the same stage together. The musicians were so engrossed in what they were doing that they lacked special cohesive moments with each other and with the audience.

Lewis recently kicked off his North American tour, and in addition to the band’s performance in Cambridge, they performed two shows in Brooklyn over the weekend. With their rigorous performance schedule, exhaustion may have played a role in the disconnect.

This summer, Lewis released “Dusk,” the first album in a three-part series, “Dusk, Dark, Dawn.” He told the audience that his vision for the album was for it to resemble a night of going out. He performed most of “Dusk” and even surprised the crowd with some songs from “Dark” and “Dawn.”

“I hope the concept of the album is starting to reflect in the show as well,” he said after performing.

Lewis’ show had a vibrant and unique dynamic because the DJ made the music in real time. Lewis came off as a musician who was was authentic, genuine and truly cared about his craft. He made it all too easy to become an instant fan.

The audience showed their appreciation by dancing nonstop. No one checked a phone or talked to friends. Instead, the audience members enjoyed themselves with the company of friends, chill music and the band.

Even Lewis was impressed with the audience’s energy. Halfway through his set, he stopped playing and commented that he thought the Sunday night performance would be chill rather than the hype atmosphere and said, “But what the f—? This is sick.”  

The concert was a perfect way to celebrate the end of the weekend and the start of a new week. Lewis and his band provided the audience with both energetic and calming energy. The show ended strong and Lewis’ smile had spread to everyone in the crowd.

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